Sex and Lucia

Starring:
  • A Little Bit of Lucia and a Lot of Sex
  • Eurotrash Writing
  • Twists and Turns

 

Directed by European Inhabitations "That's it. I'm never going out with Gary Condit ever again!"
Sex and the Island

Love is a very emotional, tricky thing. I don't have to tell anyone this as though it's some big realization I came to while watching the new Spanish import Sex and Lucia. What the film does is make love into a twisty thrill ride. Love, as portrayed by this film, is something that can seem so normal and so liberating at one moment and so troubling and horrifying the next. This shouldn't be anything new to anyone who has been in a relationship of any kind, either. But this is a film that tells of the pitfalls and mountain tops of love through the senses. We feel the confusion and the exhilaration with the characters as they're living it. And did I mention the love scenes? Needless to say, Sex and Lucia is a prime example of the European style of filmmaking that doesn't have to pull punches when it comes to the intimacy of its situations. It's these themes within this style, as well as a fantastically sexy cast, that puts such a captivating spell on the audience.

Lucia (Paz Vega) is a woman who enters the film with not much background but with a face that says it all. She's a waitress at a restaurant who is apparently stalking the very famous author, Lorenzo (Tristan Ulloa) She approaches him in a very frank manner and what follows is even franker (A real word? You be the judge): They pursue a whirlwind sexual experience with Lorenzo disappearing in a quicker fashion than the way he entered. This involves another story that the audience member is not sure to trust as fact or fiction. Lorenzo meets a woman on an island off the coast of Spain and carries on a torrid affair. The woman, who we later learn is Elena (Najwa Nimri), becomes pregnant from the experience and we see her have the child who she names Luna, or "moon" in Spanish. I only mention this because weird things happen when Luna and a full moon appears in the same frame. Get the symbolism now? She raises Luna in Madrid where Lorenzo finds out about her and decides to try to enter her life. While this begins as innocent, it becomes far more complicated as he becomes intertwined with their entire family. We aren't sure if this is fiction or not because Lorenzo begins typing on his keyboard once these scenes begin and he narrates it as though it is literature. Towards the climax of the film, Lucia feels more like an illusion in the initial story than anything else. But I assure you that it's far more complicated in the plot's structure than I can describe here.

But the message of the film is very clear, despite the turns that Sex and Lucia takes. The island that Lorenzo calls as sanctuary and which acts as the pivotal point for every relationship in the film is a very dangerous and treacherous place. Kind of like how love is very dangerous and treacherous. There are sinkholes everywhere, caves hide underneath light sheets and sand, and the island itself doesn't connect to the ocean floor at any spot. This place is as fragile and volatile as any relationship in the entire film. The purpose of this film is to show how love feels. We get the sense of vertigo as lovers stand on the cliffs of the ocean. When something turns out to be what it does not seem, the photography becomes convoluted and distorted. In the various story lines, Sex and Lucia shows the joy and the passion of love. Indeed, the sex scenes in the film may be some of the most playful, for lack of a better word, than anything in the past ten years. But, in the very next scene, the pain is just as easily conveyed: childbirth, the death of a family member, the pain that goes with the memory of a former flame. These scenes are intercut with each to give those watching it the full throttle of the experiences of the characters. These themes are consistent as well as the symbolism that is interwoven throughout. The film does well to remember that it's story is tricky and hard to follow. It's able to take the imagery of the island, of the houses, and of the relationships. This is a solid story told by exemplary filmmaker Julio Medam who gave the international scene an equally interesting Lovers of the Acrtic Circle.

And if sex is your thing, this film will work as well. At worst, the scenes are so explicit that they take away from the emotional impact of the film. Sometimes these moments stretch to be considered as artistic in the same vein as all the others it shares celluloid space. But, a little too much skin is not enough to dock Sex and Lucia for what it really is: One of the first romantic thrill rides of the decade.

The Pitch:
2 Lovers of the Arctic Circle
Plus
1/2
1 and a Half Memento
Equals
1/2
3 and a Half Sex and Lucia
See It For:
Lucia and Her Big, Long Penetrating Light House.