Synopsis: An ex-bullfighter who gets turned on by killing, a lady lawyer with the same fetish and a young man driven insane by his religious upbringing - these are the main characters in this stylish black comedy about dark sides of human nature.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Pedro Almodóvar
Production: Cinevista/World Artists
  6 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min

We'll speak about the art of killing. has to kill well.

A bad kill disgraces the man

and the bull.

A bullfighter must honour

his name, 'matador'...

and mustn't betray the

bull's courage.

The bullfighter watches the bull

and knows how to lead it.

He knows which horn it will use.

A good thrust is the result of

a great job, and in any great job...

there's a time when the bull asks

to be killed...

expecting his death.

The sword, according to the rules,

must be sunk behind the nape...

in the 'cross', between

the shoulder-blades.

This hole is called the

cleft of the clods.

The sword must be neither flat

nor straight but well directed...

to sink into the heart and lungs.

There are three basic ways

to face the kill.

The first one is to kill

when receiving.

To kill, the arm must be straight...

the sword must prolong the arm...

the hand must be level

with the heart.

On sinking the sword,

make the 'cross'...

for he who does not

is taken by the devil.

Slowly, we move the cape

to the bull's muzzle...

and bring it towards us.

Then, still looking

at the muzzle...

we sink the sword in the 'cross'.

But don't think that's all

because to kill it as it deserves...

not only must we use the sword

but also the heart.

Don't you undress?

- I'm not wearing anything.

You worked well today.

Maestro, we want a bull.

- So do I.

It's not our fault you're lame.

We're throwing a party tonight.

It'll be wild.

Want to come?

- No, not tonight.

The man's dead beat.

Those chicks want a good time.

We should go out one night

and see what we find.

Why? Don't you dare on your own?

- I've never tired to.

You've never been with a chick?

- No, never.

Chicks are just like bulls...

You've got to hem them in,

then it's easy.

Give it to me.

- But why?

I was going to fry it with garlic.

- It's amanita mascaria.

What is it?

- They're poisonous.

How do you know?

Because of the hood and the cap.

Pick them up and throw them out.

They're very dangerous.

I watched you while

I was speaking of killing.

You felt sick.

Clouds make me dizzy.

Could I have a glass

of water for a pill?

Yes, let's go upstairs. But pills won't

make you any less frightened.

Death doesn't scare me,

my own least of all.

Fear is good, at times

it gives you courage.

Were you scared?

- Yes, but fear is part of the game.

You mustn't be afraid of fear.

Your girl? - It's Ava Gardner!

Don't you go to the movies?

No, my family is from the Opus Dei.

I've spent my life praying

and exercising.

I know her.

- Do you?

She's my neighbour.

Do you like her?

- She's very pretty...

but being a model,

she's stuck up.

No, she isn't, not Eva.

- You know her name.

She's my girlfriend.

- That's funny!

Listen, how about a game?

- All right.

You're really successful

with girls, aren't you?

Knowing I was a bullfighter

turns them on.

Why do you want to be a bullfighter?

You're not like the other kids.

Well... I don't know.

I suppose I like danger.

I mean, if you've got to die...

I want to do it in the ring,

it's more exciting.

Don't you think so?

You're too young to think about that.

Age doesn't matter.

At your age, one thinks

about killing... not dying.

Your turn.

To tell the truth, I can't play.

Besides, I told my mother

I'd be home early.

Angel... You don't happen

to like men, do you?

Why do you have to ask me that?

It just came to mind. At your age

a boy has been with a woman.

Always my age! I'm sick of

being taken for a moron!

Just forget it.

- I'll show you I'm no fairy.

But I believe you.

- I'll show you!

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Jesús Ferrero

Jesús Ferrero is a Spanish writer born in 1952 in the Spanish province of Zamora. After completing his secondary education he studied literature in Zaragoza for a while and then moved to Paris to study ancient Greek history at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. Jesús Ferrero, like Javier Marías or Antonio Muñoz Molina, is a writer of that new Spanish prose which developed after La Movida Madrileña (Madriliene Movement), one of the early post-modern currents. He has written numerous novels, poetry collections, short stories, essays and screenplays. He is, among other things, co-author of Pedro Almodóvar's film Matador. He is one of a group of well-known Spanish novelists, which includes Julio Llamazares, Javier Cervas, and Andrés Trapiello, who have published fiction in the vein of "historical memory", focusing on the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist State.Ferrero's debut, Chinese-set novel 'Belver Yin' (1981) was one of the most successful and critically acclaimed in post-Franco Spanish literature, and helped him to establish himself as one of the major writers of La Movida years. With novels set in Tibet ('Opium', 1986), Barcelona ('Lady Pepa', 1988) or Berlin ('Débora Blenn', 1988), Ferrero continued during the eighties a literary exploration characterized by eclectic intertextuality. Fererro’s book 'El Efecto Doppler' (1990), follows a precise choreography which shows the protagonist, Darío, caught up in a complex tale. During an evening meal in Paris the young Rosaura blows her brains out in front of the diners: "Suddenly she looked at me and took a pistol from her bag. Without stopping her whistling she put the weapon to her temple." Every gesture, every look follows a kind of message, and Darío, Rosaura’s cousin, takes it upon himself to create a meaningful entity from the seemingly unconnected clues. In calm, very precise language and in a very detailed, cleverly devised structure Ferrero tells in his novel a gripping love story and at the same time makes us consider the limits of our perception. Precise, too, is that view which the hero has in the novel 'El diablo en los ojos' (1998). Since young Leo Salgado has been focussing his camera lens on his own family, he senses the great influence of this instrument which is able to record everyday trivialities and their most intimate facets. The camera here is the up-and-coming creative genius which captures, with almost cruel clarity, the disintegration of the family. The action of Jesús Ferrero’s novel, 'Juanelo o el hombre nuevo' (2000), is set in Toledo in the 16th century. The protagonist in this fantasy-tale, a good-looking youth, gradually comes to discover the terrible history of his origin as he becomes more and more involved in events in Toledo. It becomes clear that he is an artificially created human being, a golem, a new kind of human being. The novel is a good example which again makes clear Ferrero’s basic themes: "Destruction begins with the first tears in the cradle and ends when, in our parchment-like hands, time dies." Jesús Ferrero’s writing shows a rebirth of the old myths and also tells of the banal, sometimes absurd everyday stories. It reflects the utopias of the twentieth century like those of 'Metropolis'. Ferrero’s style has been seen as close to that of Cervantes or Kafka. The author loves adopting classical narrative patterns while also modernizing and using them aesthetically with new stylistic features. Since 1995 he has been living in Madrid where he teaches literature. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Matador" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Nov. 2020. <>.

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