Even though this isn't my favourite Medem, it is nevertheless beautiful (and somehow I feel, very feminine) cinema. You have the symbolic mother, the lover, and the whore, intertwined, each playing an important part in connecting the story. And then you have 'the island', in itself is a metaphor, where everything starts and ends (and starts again). This film can be nothing but art, because every time I see it, it is like looking through a kaleidoscope - there's something new to discover, whether intended by the director or not. For this reason, the film occupies prime space in my library, within easy reach - so that it could be seen again, and again. If you haven't seen this film before, it is about time you did. Needless to say, Highly Recommended Viewing.
Here's the gist: Lorenzo, a writer, meets Elena at an island and they have sex - by the sea at night - it also happens to be his birthday. He never hoped to see her again, but fate had other ideas - he had after all just planted the seed for the rest of the story to unfold. He meets Lucía, a woman working in a restaurant opposite - she had already fallen in love with him and his work, and he loves her in return. Life now seems so tranquil that he now has nothing much to write about. But thanks to his friend, he learns he now has a daughter (through Elena), and attempts to bond with her secretly. Her frisky child-minder Belén enters his life, and events take a turn for the worse from then onwards, until the main characters converge on 'the island'.
The scenes below have been re-cut from Blu-ray, specifically for my blog.
Paz Vega: Compilation 1
For many, the film will be remembered for the lovely Paz Vega. She plays Lucía, the girl madly in love with Lorenzo.
Lucía discloses her love to Lorenzo, and they return to his flat drunk, Lucía explores his house the following morning and they have sex for the first time. Contains some explicit sex scenes which was body-doubled by porn actress Diana Suárez.
The beautiful Najwa Nimri steals our heart as Elena - a character who's probably the kindest woman in the planet. The first part of the scene is of her with Lorenzo, followed by her discovery that she's pregnant, at which point she breaks up with her partner, through his secretary over the phone. The first scene is probably one of the most romantic underwater love scenes ever filmed. The second half has no nudity, but sexy nevertheless. The compilation as a whole showcases Julio Medem's artistry.
Paz Vega: Compilation 2
Some more scenes of the lovely Paz Vega playing Lucía. The scenes are more or less continuos - depicting Lorenzo and Lucía's developing relationship. The first half is very 'visual' that require little description. The second half of the compilation (unfortunately forgot to include caps for these in the graphic) is of Lucía visiting the island on her own after she presumes Lorenzo is dead after an accident. She stay's at Elena's place, where she's introduced to Carlos (Antonio had taken on another identity), also a tenant there. Elena tells Lucía that Carlos and she have a purely sexual relationship, and the fact that he had the biggest penis she's ever seen, which was enough to make Lucía curious about Carlos. It includes some nude scenes by the beach, and Lucía receiving a sensual mud massage from Carlos. She however stops him from going all the way.
Elena Anaya, Diana Suárez, and Paz Vega:
This compilation is made of several scenes involving Paz Vega (Lucía), a young Elena Anaya (Belén), and Diana Suárez (Belén's mum):
- When Belén tells Lorenzo that her mother's a retired pornstar, living with her hunky former colleague, Lorenzo is intrigued and asked if she too fancied her mother's boyfriend. Reluctant at first, she admits to flirting with him, and relates an incident one night, when she was masturbating in the nude to one of her mum's porno movies. She hears Antonio (mum's boyfriend) enter the room. The remainder of this scene is of Lorenzo building up that fantasy for his own writing material - his novel was gradually becoming autobiographical.
- Lucía who habitually reads what Lorenzo had written, is shocked and tries to comfort him in bed.
- Belén invites Lorenzo over to the child's house - she's baby sitting that night, and Lorenzo accepts. They are interrupted when the door opens, and tragedy unfolds (not shown here).
- Another fictional scene where the disturbed Lorenzo builds layers upon the relationship between Belén, her mother, and her mother's lover. He is now ridden with guilt and self-hatred after the tragic event.
- Elena calls her former chlld-minder Belén, and invites her to the island where she lives, while Belén's mum sunbathes in the nude and takes a shower by the balcony in broad view.
- Lorenzo pens a terrible end for his mother-daughter characters (Belén and her mum).