FT Top 100 Films
26: JAMON JAMON

You’ve got to love any director called Bigas Lunas. It promises a level on nutsiness you just don’t get from people called John Sayles, George Lucas or John Waters. Perhaps that’s why I like John Waters so much. Anyway, Bigas Lunas is the Spanish John Waters, and Jamon Jamon is his masterpiece.

Jamon Jamon is a black comedy, and seems to tick all of those Spanish sex comedy boxes that you might assume if you had only ever seen an Almodovar film. Densely packed it has a little bit of a love affair with unfulfilled symbolism. If it can’t think of a decent way of ending a scene it has a lizard crawling out of a vacant eye socket instead. But that only really kicks in later, the first half is all sex farce agogo in the underwear factory.

Its another one of THOSE Penelope Cruz films, which she wanders around as the workd goes to pot around her. And when that includes some ham fights and naked bullfighting then all should be right with the world. I called this Lunas’ masterpiece, and it is his best film. But that does not mean it is all that good. But it is a great foreign film to see when you have just turned eighteen. It has sex in it. It has violence. It has pretty foreign ladies. It has a nicely enlightened view of sexual politics and a sense of humour. It does not really hang together though and having seen it again recently I wondered a bit about the eighteen year old me. But that is not an unusual sensation.

I’m really worried about watching Delicatessen again now.

Do You See