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Tit and the Moon, The ( La teta y la luna)

Director: Bigas Luna


Bigas Luna’s magical new film is by far his best work to date and should go some way towards answering the mainly non-Spanish commentators who baulked at the displays of machismo in Jam’n, Jam’n and Golden Balls. Luna’s take on male desire and obsession assumes a much gentler form here, chiefly because it’s filtered through the innocent eyes of a nine-year-old boy and is presented as a fairy tale.
We first see the diminutive Tete (Biel Duran) as he struggles to climb a human tower, which he fails to complete because he doesn’t yet have the balls to reach the summit. Tete is also frustrated by the fact that his baby brother has replaced him at his mother’s breast. Invoking the moon to help him find the comfort of another bosom, he is drawn to Esterelita (Mathilda May), a beguiling French dancer who is performing in the village witht her petomane stage partner, Maurice (Gerard Damon). Also lusting after Esterelita is a local adolescent who hopes to woo her by singing flamenco and threatening suicide.
No plot synopsis could begin to suggest the sheer charm and disarming good humour of The Tit and the Moon. Stunningly photographed in wide-screen by Jose Luis Alcaine, and benefiting from a sweetly nostalgic score by Nicola Piovani, this is Luna’s most attractive portrait of the culture and folklore of Catalonia. The film is crammed with symbols linked by the Catalan tradition, all captured in Luna’s characteristically arresting images. Yet the director is no narrow nationalist, as revealed by the strong French influence on the film and the use of three languages (French, Spanish and Catalan). This is a generous, warm and seductive tale of a young boy’s search for love and for the perfect meal. Enjoy

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