8.10.16

The Ages of Lulu

I've liked some of Bigas Luna's other films, but this one is unremittingly terrible. It has none of the satirical edge of his later work, which attacks bullish masculinity and capitalist excess. Nor is there a hint of Luna's surrealist sensibility. This is just a skin flick, all the worse for being played completely straight. Lulu's character is substituted for her sexuality, the development of which provides the only subject for the film. Consent is intermittently policed – in her one moment of assertiveness, Lula leaves her husband after he pushes things too far without her permission, insisting that she doesn't want to be a child anymore. But on her own and looking for thrills she foolishly walks into what turns out to be a den of rapists, and has to be saved by her husband. It's a bad bad world out there, ladies. Best explore your sexuality in the safe haven of marriage, even if your husband isn't willing to share what he plans to do to you in the bedroom. All of these titillating escapades are presented without comment. The unique character of Luna's other films is absent, either unborn or suppressed.

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