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Thursday, June 18, 2015 (read 1386 times)
Huevos de Oro - Bigas Lunaby Hannah
Starring the internationally renowned Javier Bardem as its protagonist Benito González, Huevos de Oro or Golden Balls as it’s known in the English speaking world, is a 1993 fast paced Spanish film depicting the rise and fall of its central character and to some extent reflective of Spanish Society in the 1980s.
- Golden Balls is amongst Bigas Lunas’ most famous films, and an important example of a Spanish movie with a deeper cultural and metaphorical value; often grouped together with Jamón, Jamón and La teta y la luna.
- The film follows Javier Bardem’s character as he seeks power, domination and success, and explores the reasons behind his eventual substantial demise.
Packed full of imagery and metaphor, the narrative sees Benito, an eccentric engineer, seeking to construct the grandest and largest building ever to have existed in the region of Barcelona. On cutting ties with his girlfriend Rita on discovering she is involved with his coworker, he puts his emotions aside and becomes intensely focused instead on marrying a billionaire’s daughter, with the aim of obtaining sufficient funding for his envisaged project. The life that follows, outlandish, excessive and hedonistic, ultimately becomes his downfall, and Benito brings to light an array of contributing internal struggles.
The film is packed with symbolism; the most obvious being the construction of the building, which alludes heavily to masculinity, sexuality and power. Benito aims to own multiple Rolex watches, to have any women he wants, and scrambles his way to the top via methods of deception and corruption. He uses questionable means to get the necessary support and money for the building of his ‘Gonzalez Tower’, using women with wealth. Indeed, many critics consider the narrative to be based on the format of a Greek tragedy.
The film is often viewed as a personification of Spain during the 1980s, where many were seen to be obsessed with power and status, driven by greed. Luna deconstructs the myth of the powerful macho masculine identity, a concept once widely existent in many Spanish-speaking countries, whose priorities are revealed to be fundamentally flawed. The objectification of women is interestingly reversed at points in the film, with the focus of the lens instead on the male body, again parodying the power associated with the idea of ‘machismo’.
The cultural references threaded throughout the film make it difficult to fully appreciate without some grasp of Spanish culture. The stereotypes associated with Spain, most obviously the macho male, are parodied such that the characters embodying these ideas are both instantly identifiable and seemingly ridiculous. References to Spanish artist Salvador Dali are also present throughout, with Javier Bardem’s character drawing Dali’s well known ‘drawers’ on the naked bodies of the women he is involved with. Other less sophisticated cultural references include the song ‘por el amor de una mujer’, played and sang throughout. Luna uses space to explore the different landscapes in Spain, in particular the evolution of areas such as Benidorm, and ties these in with cultural allusion to truly encapsulate and represent Spanish society at a variety of levels.
Keywords: javier bardem,spanish movie,spanish stereotypes,bigas luna,huevos de oro,spanish film,spanish society
Posted In: Culture