Judging from the films of Pedro Almodóvar, 1980s Spain was a festering hotbed of sexual obsession, high-pitched melodrama, and Catholic guilt. But oh, is it ever stylish! This week, The Film Experience’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot series delves into two of Almodóvar’s seediest, most suspenseful thrillers, Matador and Law of Desire. Since I’ve already written about the sensual Matador vis-à-vis Duel in the Sun, I went with Law of Desire (1987), which was new to me. My oh my, did I make a good choice.
Matador’s detective Eusebio Poncela plays Pablo, a lovelorn, coke-snorting film director, while star-in-the-making Antonio Banderas plays the attractive young man who lusts after and fixates on him. Pablo tries to get Antonio off his back, but no amount of cold water can douse his pathological passions. I mean, honestly: just consider how intensely Antonio ogles him on the morning after their supposed one-night stand.