|Golden Balls: A Tribute to
Spanish Director Bigas Luna
This series also screens at the Aero Theatre (May 20 - 22, 2005).
Presented in collaboration with: the
Ministerio de Educacion and the Spanish Tourist Office in Los Angeles
A duel to the death with cured hams
golden Rolexes and
Roman legions and mothers milk
the films of
legendary Spanish director Bigas Luna literally overflow with symbolist and
surrealist images, drawn from his seemingly inexhaustible passion for sex, food and his
native Catalunya. Everything is oversized in Lunas universe, from womens
breasts to male egos; one of his great gifts as a filmmaker is to be able to satirize
Spanish culture without deflating any of its mysteries.
Born in Barcelona in 1946, Luna studied painting and design in college,
and founded his own avant garde design company soon after graduation. Luna turned to
filmmaking in 1976 with TATUAJE, but it was his second feature, BILBAO (1978), that
first brought him international attention. The disturbing first-person narrative of an
emotionally-crippled voyeur, BILBAO also reverberated with political implications: the
title refers to both a prostitutes name and the industrial capital of the Basque
region, long a center of resistance to Castilian control. The success of JAMON JAMON
(1990), starring modern Spains greatest actor Javier Bardem in his
breakthrough performance, brought Luna long-overdue recognition in the U.S. and began what
he describes as his "Iberian Trilogy" along with HUEVOS DE ORO (1992) also
starring Bardem, and LA TETA I LA LLUNA (1995).
Please join us for a 3 night tribute to this
brilliant and iconoclastic director!!
Friday, May 20 7:30 PM
JAMON JAMON, 1990, 100 min. Bigas Lunas
breakthrough film stars Spains greatest modern actor, Javier Bardem (THE SEA
INSIDE) in his first major role, as "the Brando of Los Monegros," bullfighter
and ham delivery-boy. Penelope Cruz (VANILLA SKY) co-stars as Bardems love
interest in her breakout performance as well. An erotic parable of modern Spain,
"coast and interior, computers and jamones," set in a desolate, dreamlike
landscape of burger joints and whorehouses. "I wanted to fascinate others with
what fascinates me." Bigas Luna.
BILBAO, 1978, 90 min. With Angel Jove, Maria Martin, Isabel
Pisano. A crucial film in post-Franco cinema, BILBAO charts the sexual fantasties of Leo,
an emasculated voyeur obsessed with kidnapping a prostitute. Bigas Luna employs his
trademark close-ups to create a carnal world of fish-heads, body parts and electric
razors, underscored by Lotte Lenyas haunting song "Bilbao." A nightmarish
urban vision as powerful in its way as Scorseses TAXI DRIVER. Discussion
in between film with director Bigas Luna.
>> Both films also playing at the Aero on May 22
Saturday, May 21 7:00 PM
GOLDEN BALLS (HUEVOS DE ORO), 1993, 90 min. Arguably Bigas
Lunas greatest masterpiece and one of the funniest, sexiest and most disturbing
portraits of the new Spain put on film. Benito (Javier Bardem, at his carnal best)
believes that because he has (literally) two huevos, he deserves two of everything
else: Rolexes, cars, women, whatever. Co-starring the stunning Maribel Verdu (Y TU
MAMA TAMBIEN) and Maria de Medeiros (PULP FICTION). Lunas caustic satire of
kitsch and the new rich has something to offend everyone.
POODLE (CANICHE), 1979, 90 min. Bigas Lunas
most scandalous and controversial film its only been shown a handful of times
in the U.S. where it was greeted with outrage by shocked audiences CANICHE is also
one of his finest portraits of obsession, frailty and the human heart of darkness.
Bernardo (Angel Jove) and Eloisa (Consol Tura) are a brother and sister
holed up in a decaying Gothic mansion surrounded by swirling organ music, where their
frustrated incestuous desires for each other are redirected towards
shatters every taboo in the book with this very sick and darkly humorous portrait of
"animal passions" run riot. He also creates a sense of dread and suspense mixed
with wicked perversity that would make Hitchcock and Bava proud. [Animal lovers beware:
Although no animals were harmed in the making of the film, there are images you may find
>> Both films also playing at the Aero on May 20.
Sunday, May 22 5:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere! SOUND OF THE SEA (SON DE MAR), 2001, 95 min. Bigas
Lunas most recent film finally receives its long-overdue L.A. premiere.
The wonderful Leonor Watling (TALK TO HER) stars as a young woman who falls into a
mad, obsessive erotic relationship with a literature professor (Jordi Molla, from
LA BUENA ESTRELLA and SEGUNDA PIEL) when he moves to her seaside town. But soon after
their marriage and the birth of their son, the professor vanishes and is assumed to be
or is he? Luna revisits his favorite theme of the overwhelming rush of desire
that binds people together and tears them asunder -- in this superb drama. For
mature audiences only.
VOLAVERUNT, 1999, 90 min. Four of Spains finest
actors Aitana Sánchez-Gijón (THE CHAMBERMAID ON THE TITANIC), Penélope
Cruz (VANILLA SKY), Jordi Mollà (LA BUENA ESTRELLA) and Jorge Perrugorría
light up this gorgeous, seductive historical mystery from the maestro Bigas Luna.
Following the death of the beautiful Duchess of Alba (Sánchez-Gijón) in 1802, her former
lovers, including the painter Goya (Perrugorría) and the Prime Minister, Godoy (Mollà),
try to uncover the silken web of deceit, adultery and court intrigue that led to her
murder. Cruz stars as the lovely Pepita, one of the Prime Ministers mistresses
and a prime suspect in the Duchess death. Inspired by Goyas infamous
nude and clothed portraits of the Duchess of Alba, VOLAVERUNT shows Luna at his best
erotic, oversaturated, thoroughly unpredictable. Due to
a schedule change, there will NOT be a discussion in between film with director Bigas Luna
as was previously announced.
>> Both films also playing at the Aero on May 21.