by Elaine Perrone
SCREENED AT SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2002: I can divulge very little about Lucía y el sexo without major spoilers, except to describe it as visually stunning, breathtakingly sexy, and mind-bendingly ambiguous -- a magical mystery tour of the first order.At its essence, Sex and Lucía is a mesmerizing, and challenging, puzzle box of a tale centering around a tormented writer, Lorenzo (Tristán Ulloa), his relationships --or perhaps not -- with three women, and a tragedy that may have befallen a child called Luna (Silvia Llanos).
"The magical mystery tour is waiting to take you away."
The three women who weave dreamily through Lorenzo's life and imagination are the charmingly impetuous Lucía (Paz Vega), the waitress who becomes infatuated with him after reading his first novel, and with whom he lives, in a passionate and stormy relationship, in Madrid; Elena (Najwa Nimri), the island beauty with whom, six years before, on his 26th birthday, he had shared an erotic, anonymous moonlit swim, a one-night encounter with lasting consequence; and the enchantress Belén (Elena Anaya), the daughter of a former porn movie queen, and a child's nanny, who seduces Lorenzo and may unwittingly contribute to an horrific accident involving the little girl.
Lucía and Elena drift through each other's lives, as well, when Lucía travels to the mysterious island to heal herself after the loss of Lorenzo and meets Elena, a cookbook writer and the owner of a bed-and-breakfast inn, who is recovering from an ineffable loss of her own.
Spanish writer-director Julio Medem gracefully steers his cast of shifting characters, as if on some erotic roller-coaster, between present and past, reality and imagination (or memory?), in a dizzying ride that swoops up and down, back and forth, finally circling back upon itself in an emotional conclusion.
Perfectly complementing the circular narrative are the exquisite visuals of cinematographer Kiko de la Rica, who makes daring use of lighting and angles to bathe the screen in dazzling sunlight or radiant moonlight, to capture the image of a glistening sea or the claustrophobia of a dark corner or an island tunnel.With its underwater fantasy sequences and its symbolic lighthouse tower and holes to the sea, Sex and Lucía is a very adult version of Alice Through The Looking Glass, sexually explicit, sensual, and seductive.
link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6008&reviewer=376
originally posted: 07/31/04 15:44:29