Iberian Nights: Bigas Luna’s Passion Trilogy

In the 1970s, maverick Spanish filmmakers brought forth pictures that bucked the repressive establishment ethos of their country. While Pedro Almodóvar is the best-known, his contemporary Bigas Luna (1946-2013) cut a distinctive stylistic swath that turned heads. Luna initially concentrated on dark and twisted thrillers but later enjoyed making international audiences blush; his proclivity for erotic stories yielded increasingly free rein and naughty whimsy, as he enlisted up-for-anything actors to be co-conspirators in his visions — most memorably, future real-life cinema power couple (and 2022 Academy Award nominees) Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Jamón Jamón, the Quad remembers this seductive storyteller with his “Iberian Passion Trilogy,” through which Luna’s design background and painter’s eye add to the enveloping feel of these contemporary fairy tales marbled with social and sexual studies.

Co-presented by The Bigas Luna Tribute, a series of global homage events organized by Bigas Luna’s daughter, Betty Bigas, an artist and art curator based in between Barcelona and San Francisco, and Bigas Luna specialist Santiago Fouz Hernández (Professor in Iberian Studies and Film Studies at Durham University, U.K.).

Co-sponsored by Durham University, U.K.


Speaker bios:

Santiago Fouz Hernández, Professor of Iberian Studies and Film Studies, Durham University, U.K. Co-lead of The Bigas Luna Tribute. Author and editor: El legado cinematográfico de Bigas Luna (2020) book and podcast.

Carolina Sanabria, Professor of Film Studies and Visual Culture at the University of Costa Rica. Author of, among other books, Bigas Luna El ojo voraz (2010). Co-presenter Bigas Luna podcast.

Gerard Dapena, PhD. Author and Independent Film Scholar based in N.Y.C.

Past Screenings