This is a famous classic which needs to go in here as part of Bigas Luna’s filmography. “La Teta i la Lluna” [Spanish Title: La Teta y la Luna, Eng. Title: The Tit and the Moon] is possibly Luna’s finest ‘mainstream’ film, one that has surprisingly been overlooked by many critics – this film deserves a lot more accolades than it has due to its rich symbolism and captivating story.
Unlike some who think this is a ‘coming-of-age’ film, it is actually a celebration of childhood, motherhood, womanhood, and good old Catalunya. This film has great depth, which may relate to native Catalonians readily than others who may require more than one viewing to understand some of its nuances. Having said that, the film is also playful in a style reminiscent of Federico Fellini’s “Amarcord” – what we see is Luna’s unabashed love of his homeland, its people and their quirks. He throws in a lot of ‘foreigners’ in the film to give us an insight into what it means to be a Catalonian. Unbelievably this is also so unlike a typical Bigas Luna film – most of his films are darker and sceptical.
The film has a lot of things going for it – the lush cinematography, the hilariously incongruous Flamenco soundtrack, the excellent performances by the young protagonist (he’s one cute little fellar) and the delightful French actress Mathilda May, the superb characterisation, and the witty and sometimes irreverent dialogues. Laura Mañá plays a very different character here rather well – as a young mother weaning the young protagonist off breast milk after the new baby arrives. If you are ever stuck with the option of having to buy only one film by Bigas Luna, make sure it is “La Teta y la Luna” – trust me – you will not regret it. Highly Recommended Viewing..!
Amazon DVD Link
Compilation 1: Laura Mañá and Mathilda May
The compilations follow the storyline, explained through the scene guides.
- Young Tete is the final piece required to complete the human castle for his team in this Catalonian cultural sport – he introduces us to his friends and family (including his insufferably macho-dad demanding his son to prove he has ‘balls’ – I left some of the funny dialogues in this scene so you’ll get the idea). Tete also tells us how he always makes sure to feel up the ‘rock solid’ tetas of Stallone’s girlfriend on his way up (the woman is played by Vanessa Isbert if you really need to know).
- Tete is upset he can no longer be suckled by his mum – his kid brother had now arrived – he watches with jealousy when his mother feeds him. He asks the moon to find him a new set of tits just for himself. The mother is played by the wholesome Laura Mañá. She had however played a totally different character in a Vicente Aranda film which I’ll post later.
- Hilarious scene – Tete believes his dad fills his mother up with milk every night so she could feed the baby brother – his mum’s ecstatic cries while making love, “fill me – fill me with your milk” is his proof of what’s happening every night..!
- The moon listens to Tete and sends in Estrellita, a Portuguese ballerina performing at a travelling circus. She lives with her French husband Maurice in a caravan – who’d earned his reputation as the ‘Fire King’ – you’ll now what I mean very soon. Here he finds it hard to accomplish his conjugal duties after a long day at work..!
- Tete watches Estrellita practice, and perform later at the show. Estrellita is played by the lovely Mathilda May.
- There’s a beautiful mixture of reality and fantasy here as Tete goes about sizing the breasts of women n his neighbourhood.
- Tete has competition in winning the affections of Estrellita – his Andalusian friend Miguel who’d already fallen in love with her. Here Estrellita tells her husband about the lad who sang to her and feels ‘sparks’ when touched by her.
- Tete trumps Miguel by befriending Estrellita first, and endearingly begs her for milk as his mum will give him milk no more.
Compilation 2: Mathilda May and Laura Mañá
- Tete narrates the ‘strange’ habits of foreigners, about Estrellita’s toe-sucking fetish and her fondness for baguette.
- We also see Estrellita enjoying licking Miguel’s tears (naughty Luna). She nevertheless rewards him afterwards.
- But the water bed springs a leak, and husband Maurice finds out what’s going on – but there’s little he could do but allow Miguel to ‘fill her up’ with the milk that he couldn’t.
- Estrellita vanishes briefly with her husband – she loves her Maurice too much to keep messing with Miguel. But returns during the next human castle – Tete is ‘inspired’ to complete the castle and wins accolades from his dad. He also gets rewarded by the two most important women in his short little life, Estrellita and of course, his mother – his mother’s milk tastes much better than Estrellita’s – he opines.