The role of Madrid as a stage in Spanish cinema

dia-bestia In our Spanish school we feel really proud about Spanish culture cinema, so in the following post, we present you a different way to discover Madrid through films. The producer’s particular vision has served to turn some hideouts into iconic points of the city. Coming up, we are going to show you some successful film moments which have allowed us to recognize Madrid and enjoy it in a different way.

El día de la bestia

Álex de la Iglesia is a famous film director in Spain, that usually chooses Madrid as the stage of most of his mad plots. In other pictures like ‘La comunidad’ or ‘Las brujas de Zugarramurdi’ you can also identify easily some crowded Madrid places. However, we have underlined ‘El día de la bestia’, whose story line tells the birth of the Antichrist in Madrid, because of one unforgettable scene in which the two main characters are on the verge of falling from the top of Capitol building, in front of Callao square.


The international director and producer Alejandro Amenábar put himself on the map with this thriller debut film that froze the blood of spectators and critics and won 7 Goya awards in 1996. The crime and scheme story line is developed between the walls of Complutense University’s Journalism Faculty, aside from other downtown places. If right after watching the film you felt delighted by it, you can visit the grey corridors of the building: it barely have changed since then.

Abre los ojos

Again Alejandro Amenábar gives us a unique way of discovering Madrid in another suspense film. In this case, we have the opportunity to see Gran Vía street, the most popular and crowded street in Madrid, completely empty before the main character of the film, which underlines the majesty of this street, which has more than one century of history. That scene is now 20 years old, so if you look closely you can see how the street has changed since then.


In a completely different way to show Madrid, Pedro Almodóvar, takes us away from the postcard places of the city to show emblematic areas of the outskirts and their daily life. The neighborhoods that appear are Vallecas and Moratalaz, emblematic neighborhoods that also represent the DNA of the city.

Watching Spanish films is a good way to continue learning and improving Spanish, so don´t hesitate about watching these famous and emblematic films and look for some places in Madrid where you have already been.

If you finally are going to watch these films, please feel free you express your comments below, we will be happy to know your opinion.

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