This talk focuses on three early films by Bigas Luna: Bilbao (1978) and Caniche (1979) and Lola (1986), often regarded as a ‘sex trilogy’. It starts with a brief discussion of the problematic relationships between the director and his female leads. Isabel Pisano (protagonist of Bilbao) famously wrote about how this role ended her acting career (Pisano 2001), while his once wife and protagonist of Caniche Consol Tura divorced the director partly due to the pressures caused by her controversial starring role in that film (although she continued working as the casting director for most of his films). Long and very public feuds with female starts became a constant throughout his career. These were partly motivated by the director’s self-proclaimed obsession with myths and taboos about women and the female body and a penchant for their explicit depiction in his films. I will argue that controversies like these have tended to dominate and obscure the critical reception and the sociological and aesthetic value of the films.
Cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh European Union Center of Excellence/European Students Center and Humanities Center