Wednesday, February 23, 2022

They Call Him Mister Golden Balls

Fantastic news for lovers of Horny Javier Bardem Cinema, New York Edition -- from March 18th through 20th the ever-awesome Quad Cinema here in NYC is doing a screening series of Spanish director Bigas Luna's "Passion Trilogy" of early 1990s films, which consists of Jamón Jamón (1992), Golden Balls (1993), and The Tit and the Moon (1994), which are straight-up the most overheated and oversexed slabs of sweaty fuck cinema that period of time ever produced. I say that only having seen Jamón Jamón at this point...

... but even if I didn't know the rep of the other two it would still be true on the basis of that one alone. But I do know the rep of the other two -- I mean just look at the photo up top! Just look at the film's titles! I miss the 90s, you guys. These movies are hard-ons pressed into celluloid. I have always wanted the French poster for Golden Balls (which was even more spectacularly titled Macho there) hanging on my wall:

I mean how fabulous is that? That's the sort of thing that should hang on every wall, everywhere. Anyway you can check out the series on the Quad's website, but I've got the full press-release for you right on after the jump too...

Iberian Nights: Bigas Luna’s Passion Trilogy March 18-20

After a nearly two-year pandemic-related postponement, the Quad now finally and proudly presents the whimsically erotic "Iberian Passion Trilogy" from Spanish director Bigas Luna: Jamón Jamón ('92), Golden Balls ('93), and The Tit and the Moon ('94) — all imported 35mm prints -- Featuring early performances from Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Benicio Del Toro. With special guests Professor Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham University, U.K.), Bigas Luna's daughter, Betty Bigas, and more.

In the 1970s, maverick Spanish filmmakers brought forth pictures that bucked the repressive establishment ethos of their country. While Pedro Almodóvar is the best-known, his contemporary Bigas Luna (1946-2013) cut a distinctive stylistic swath that turned heads. Luna initially concentrated on dark and twisted thrillers but later enjoyed making international audiences blush; his proclivity for erotic stories yielded increasingly free rein and naughty whimsy, as he enlisted up-for-anything actors to be co-conspirators in his visions — most memorably, future real-life cinema power couple (and 2022 Academy Award nominees) Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Jamón Jamón, the Quad remembers this seductive storyteller with his “Iberian Passion Trilogy,” through which Luna’s design background and painter’s eye add to the enveloping feel of these contemporary fairy tales marbled with social and sexual studies.
Co-presented by The Bigas Luna Tribute, a series of global homage events organized by Bigas Luna’s daughter, Betty Bigas, and Bigas Luna specialist Santiago Fouz Hernández (Professor in Hispanic Studies and Film Studies at Durham University, U.K.).
Jamón Jamón
Bigas Luna, 1992, Spain, 95m, 35mm

Bubbling over with torrid sex sequences, voluptuous food content, and winkingly outrageous melodrama, the first of Luna’s “Iberian Passion Trilogy” became his biggest success at home and abroad while hot-listing its younger leads for stardom. Jordi Mollà plays a poor little rich boy who falls for local Penélope Cruz (in her film debut), but as she is the daughter of madam Anna Galiena, his mother Stefania Sandrelli won’t abide the match — and hires Javier Bardem to horn in. 30th anniversary screenings! Official Selection: Venice Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, Winner: Silver Lion, Venice Film Festival -- In Spanish with English subtitles -- “The funniest sexy movie [...] since Like Water For Chocolate.” — Roger Ebert
Golden Balls
Bigas Luna, 1993, Spain, 95m, 35mm

Javier Bardem gets his swagger on for the sly second film in Luna’s trilogy, oozing toxic masculinity as a cocksure aspiring industrialist who operates in acquisition mode both personally and professionally. The supporting cast includes pre-Pulp Fiction Maria de Medeiros, pre-The Usual Suspects Benicio Del Toro, Maribel Verdú (later of Y Tu Mamá También), character actor Ismael [“East”] Carlo, and (in her final film) María Martín of Luna’s Bilbao. Official Selection: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival -- In Spanish with English subtitles
The Tit and the Moon
Bigas Luna, 1994, Spain, 93m, 35mm

Luna caps his “Iberian Passion Trilogy;” although Javier Bardem has only a cameo, cinematographer José Luis Alcaine and composer Nicola Piovani top their previous contributions for the director in most fanciful and fantastical style. Nine-year-old boy Biel Duran feels overshadowed by his new baby brother, and fixates on hoping for the miracle of mother’s milk from another source — perhaps the stunning ballerina (played by Mathilda May of Lifeforce infamy) visiting his village? Official Selection: Venice Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival -- In Catalan, Spanish, and French; with English subtitles


Shawny said...

How in the hell did I miss a film called Golden Balls with Javier Bardem?

Anonymous said...

Jamon Jamon is indeed sex on film but I feel the same as Shawny: how the hell did I miss Golden Balls?