Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Tit and the Moon

La Teta y la luna; erotic drama, Spain/ France, 1994; D: Bigas Luna, S: Biel Duran, Mathilda May, Gérard Darmon, Miguel Poveda, Abel Folk, Laura Mañá

Tete is a 9-year old who is plagued by two things: he cannot climb a human castle, and is disappointed when his mother gives birth to his baby brother, because now she breast feeds only him. Tete wants to find perfect breasts for himself and stumbles upon a beautiful dancer, Estrellita, who lives in a trailer by the coast and performs together with her French husband Maurice. She is also adored by other people in town, including teenager Miguel. When Miguel's friend Stallone dies in a motorcycle accident, Estrellia finds pity in his mourning and allows him to have sex with her. However, Maurice is angry at her infidelity. Finally, Tete manages to climb up the human tower and has a fantasy of Estrellita and his mother breast-feeding him.

If a filmmaker is allowed to make an ode to music, poetry, nature or an ode to his/her homeland, should we really ban or attack another filmmaker for simply making an ode to eroticism? "The Tit and the Moon" is not the kind of movies we would encourage, exclusively because at first sight the viewers may feel really uncomfortable with the main protagonist Tete, who wants to find perfect breasts for himself, is only 9 years old, and not older, but director Bigas Luna takes this crazy, bizarre concept and daringly juggles with it almost inexplicably even, skilfully avoiding the paedophilia threats and simply crafting a surreal Felliniesque fantasy that has some honest power, among others because Tete is only a curious observer, not an active participant in events, that slowly shift from his perspective to the focal point of the grown up Estrellita (great Mathilda May) and her relationship with her partner Maurice.

One of the strangest cult movies from the 90s, "The Tit and the Moon" is definitely not a film for the conservative viewers, and some choices it takes may seem questionable, but its dreamy mood simply melts you away, as strange as it seems. There is no doubt that Tete is actually Bigas Luna himself, even in the two most daring sequences (Estrellita "sprays" milk from her breast into Tete's mouth and Tete imagines to be breast-fed by his mother), but the strange thing is that despite them, the only sequence that seems wrong or "off" in the entire film is something entirerly different, the annoying one where Maurice entertains the audience by farting. Likewise, Luna never takes himself seriously and eases the storyline with irony (i.e. the scene where the parents are overwhelmed by the baby brother, but Tete looks at him and only sees a pig in bed). One almost wonders how he sold the movie to the producer. Because of his honest dissection of themes, Luna has been jokingly described by some as one of the "best directors of breasts". Those viewers who cannot accept that Luna extracts his aesthetics from the eroticism, should avoid his erotic films in general, but just like J. Medem and C. Reygadas, he has a sense for crafting sexuality, even if it is more "harmless" here.

Grade;+++

1 comment:

Alisya Lyana said...

a woman squirting milk is harmless, but if a man squirts his white thing into a girls mouth, its sexual harassment..double standards..