Jeff Arnold’s West

The blog of a Western fan, for other Western fans

O Matador aka The Killer (Netflix, 2017)

 

Brazilian gorefest

 

O Matador, also known as The Killer, not to be confused with John Woo’s 1989 picture, is a new Brazilian Western available on Netflix.
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It goes for a South American vibe with much dependence on story telling. A young father in the 1940s tells a tale to two gunmen he meets about a professional killer in Pernambuco State in 1910. Readers of Gabriel García Márquez or Jorge Borges might enjoy it. Also those who like gore.
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Everyone is vile
 
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It’s one of those movies that is difficult to ‘like’ because absolutely everyone in it is extremely unpleasant. There is a whole series of hired killers who brutally dispatch their victims. Most of these assassins are destroyed in their turn and we do not mourn them.

 

 

There’s a corrupt rancher who wants the whole valley – one of the most tried-and-tested Western plots. He is a Frenchman, Monsieur Blanchard (Etienne Chicot). As no one around understands French, M Blanchard has a deaf-mute interpreter. Yes, I know.  Madame Blanchard is a former brothel keeper only interested in pleasure and they have a degenerate and revolting son, Pierre – not sure who the actors were.
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Father and adopted son/apprentice
 
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There are mystical pebbles which everyone seeks and which act as currency, a metaphor, I guess.

 

 

The picture was directed and written by Marcelo Galvão (below), his only Western. It’s visually fine, with beautiful photography by Fabricio Tadeu of, I suppose, Brazilian locations. It won the Best Cinematography (Melhor Fotografia) award at the Gramado Film Festival this year, which doubtless you attended.
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The opening titles have a definite comic-book or graphic-novel tinge to them and this idea is carried through the whole movie.

 

 

I watched it, and certainly was not bored.
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 Nice photography
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4 Responses

  1. What I have found on a brazilian web site :
    Música: Cirus, Alexandre
    Direção musical: Cortez, Edmundo Villani

    Dados adicionais de música
    Título da música: Matador, O
    Intérprete(s): Lona, Fernando e Trio Soma 3

    Hope it helps…

    Beside of this first netflix brazilian film, there is a very famous "western" located in the brazilian nordeste called O Cangaceiro, a big hit in the blessed year of 1953, a revelation at the Cannes festival, also famous through its haunting music, a ballad covered up by Joan Baez. I remember a very nice black and white photography too. No doubt that Jeff will look after it soon. JM

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