Bigas Luna

Josep Joan Bigas i Luna (Barcelona, 19th March, 1946 - la Riera de Gaià, Catalonia, 5th April, 2013),[1][2] known artistically as Bigas Luna, was a Spanish film director, designer and artist. His films are typically characterised by a strong emphasis on the erotic, often related to food, something for which he admitted a strong passion. His work often explores and parodies clichés of Spanish identity, but he had an international career and has made films in the Spanish, Catalan, Italian, French and English languages.

Bigas Luna
Bigas Luna
Bigas Luna in 2005
Josep Joan Bigas i Luna

19 March 1946
Barcelona, Spain
Died6 April 2013 (aged 67)
Other namesJuan José Bigas Luna
OccupationFilm director


Early career

He began his professional career working in interior and industrial design, creating the Estudio Gris with Carlos Riart in 1969. His designs during the 1960s showed a great interest in conceptual art and the emerging visual technologies.[3] He won the Gold Delta Award ADI/FAD 1970.

He moved into movie making in the 1970s, making low-budget shorts with erotic themes.[3] In 1976 he shot his first feature film, Tattoo, achieving notoriety in 1978 with the sexually explicit Bilbao, which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival.

Organic farm

In 1986 he retired to Tarragona in order to devote his time to painting, while raising his three daughters. He and his wife Celia ran an organic farm which produced wine, ham and other organic products.[4] Luna enjoyed the life of a bon vivant.[3]

Return to film

In 1990 the producer Andrés Vicente Gómez persuaded him to return to cinema and entrusted to him the direction of Las edades de Lulú (The Ages of Lulu), an erotic drama about a young woman exploring extreme sexual practices. This was a commercial success. Without abandoning his dedication to painting and photography, reflected in numerous exhibitions, he began the well-known "Iberian Trilogy" with Jamón Jamón ("Ham, Ham", 1992), Huevos de Oro ("Golden Balls", 1993) and La teta y la luna ("The Tit and the Moon", 1994). These films "explored the darkest depths of eroticism and stereotypical Spanish machismo."[3] Jamón Jamón, which launched the careers of both Javier Bardem and the 16-year-old Penélope Cruz was a major international success and won the Silver Lion at Venice in 1992.[3] Cruz returned in Volavérunt (1999), a film about the relationship between Francisco Goya and the Duchess of Alba.

Subsequently, with the short film for the internet Collar de Moscas (2001), he revived his interest in avant-garde experimentation and audiovisual formats and at the same time he discovered a vocation for the investigation of digital cinema after the creation of the Taller Bigas Luna project with Catalina Pons in 1999. The experience in the Taller introduced them to the world of new technologies and in 2002 they promoted PLATAFORM BL, dedicated to the creation and promotion of innovative projects and new talents.

Other projects

Bigas Luna's varied career as a filmmaker, painter and designer made him a very singular and interdisciplinary artist. An example of that is his project called "Microcosmos", an evolution of the earlier Cares de l'Ànima which was exhibited in the Galería Metropolitana de Barcelona in 1990. It can now be found on a web site (see external links below), where the visitor can modify and select the works and become, in this way, the creator.

Bigas Luna directed and produced a large-scale multimedia installation for the Spain Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, named Origins, as the first part of the Pavilion's trilogy on exhibition. The installation fused live Flamenco dance, sculpture and videos on more than 20 projectors.

From 2008 to 2012, Bigas took on the art direction of the oldest musical café in Europe, El Plata, in Zaragoza (Spain). There, he created a cabaret show classified as "Cabaret Ibérico" based on parodies, eroticism, the old burlesque, etc., accompanied by the typical dishes from Spain, such as paella, ham or Spanish omelette.[4]


He died of leukemia on 5 April 2013, while working on the film adaptation of Manuel de Pedrolo's novel Mecanoscrit del segon origen.[1]



  1. ^ a b El cinema perd Bigas Luna Vilaweb, 5 April 2013 (in Catalan)
  2. ^ The New York Times: Bigas Luna, Spanish Film Director, Dies at 67
  3. ^ a b c d e Obituary, The Guardian, Sunday 7 April, 2013
  4. ^ a b "Bigas Luna: Director best known for his surrealist melodrama Jamón Jamón", The Independent, 1 June 2013.

External links

7th Goya Awards

The 7th Goya Awards were presented in Madrid, Spain on 13 March 1993.

Belle Époque won the award for Best Film.

Andrés Vicente Gómez

Andrés Vicente Gómez (Madrid, 16 September 1943) is a Spanish film producer, head of Lolafilms, with more than 100 films to his credit.

Gómez is the winner of an Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Language film for "Belle Epoque". Together with the prizes won at festivals like Berlin, Venice, Montreal and San Sebastian, Gomez´s near annual presence at the Spanish Goya Film Awards make him the Spanish producer with most national and international awards to his name.Many of Spain´s most successful box-office hits have been produced by Andrés Vicente Gómez, who has worked with directors such as Fernando Trueba, Pedro Almodóvar, Carlos Saura, Bigas Luna, Vicente Aranda, Álex de la Iglesia, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Pilar Miró, Santiago Segura, Jose Luis García Sánchez, John Malkovich, and Ray Loriga, amongst others. In recognition for his work as one of the producers most contributing to cinema, in 1998 the Cannes Film Festival paid tribute to Gómez with a special homage.

As a film distributor from the early 1970s onwards, Andrés Vicente Gómez has brought an eclectic selection of international films to Spanish audiences, with classics from directors like Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin, Jean-Pierre Melville, and Akira Kurosawa, as well as Oscar scooping titles like "The Last Emperor", "Dances With Wolves", "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Henry V". Gómez has distributed the work of numerous cult directors like Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Bresson, Claude Chabrol, Peter Greenaway, Shoei Imamura, Krzysztof Kieslovski, Alain Resnais, François Truffaut, Bertrand Tavernier, as well as introducing the independent voices of directors like Hal Hartley, Neil Jordan, Paul Morrisey, Tim Robbins and Alan Rudolph.

In recent years, Andrés Vicente Gómez has carried producing on a constant stream of Spanish and English language films, such as "Rain", co-produced with Martin Scorcesse, "The Dance Upstairs" starring Javier Bardem and directed by John Malkovich; "Nearest to Heaven" starring Catherine DeNueve; "Navidad en el Nilo" and "Navidad en Nueva York" in co-production with Aurelio di Laurentiis; "Soldados de Salamina" by David Trueba, and "La Fiesta del Chivo" by Vargas Llosa, starring Isabella Rosellini; "Isi Disi" starring Santiago Segura and "Manolete", starring Adrien Brody and Penélope Cruz; "Lolita´s Club" by Vicente Aranda, and "Io don Giovanni" by Carlos Saura; "El Consul de Sodoma" starring Jordi Mollá; and "La Chispa de la Vida" directed by Álex de la Iglesia.

Gómez also produced the stage musicals "The Last Horseman" and "Ay, Carmela!"

In addition to his extensive work as producer and distributor, Andrés Vicente Gómez is President of the Media Business School, a prestigious development and training centre of the European Union, founded in 1990. He is in possession of the honor of France's Cavalier de les Arts. In 2003, was chosen as President of the FIAPF, a post he held until 2008.

Anguish (1987 film)

Anguish (Spanish: Angustia) is a 1987 Spanish-produced horror film starring Zelda Rubinstein, Michael Lerner, Talia Paul, Angel Jove and Clara Pastor.


Bambola (also spelled Bámbola) is a 1996 French-Spanish-Italian erotic melodrama film written and directed by Bigas Luna.

Di Di Hollywood

Di Di Hollywood is a 2010 drama film, written, directed and produced by Bigas Luna. It stars Elsa Pataky, Peter Coyote, and Paul Sculfor. It was released in Spain on 15 October 2010.

Francesca Neri

Francesca Neri (born 10 February 1964) is an Italian actress.

Neri was born in Trento, and has twice received the Silver Ribbon Award for Best Actress from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, for Pensavo fosse amore invece era un calesse, directed by Massimo Troisi (1991) and Carne trémula (Live Flesh) (1997).

She has also received three nominations for the David di Donatello Award (Italy's equivalent of the Oscar), as Best Actress in Il dolce rumore della vita and Io amo Andrea (both 1999) and as Best Supporting Actress for La felicità non costa niente (2003).

Other notable films include her three films in Spain: Live Flesh (1997, by Pedro Almodóvar), ¡Dispara! (Outrage, 1993, by Carlos Saura), both with her own voice speaking Spanish, and sex drama film Las edades de Lulú (The Ages of Lulu, 1990, by Bigas Luna, where she's dubbed into Spanish).

After years of highly acclaimed work in Europe, she first received widespread notice in America when she played the role of Allegra, wife of the Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi in the Hollywood blockbuster, Hannibal in 2001. In 2002, she played the Colombian wife of Claudio Perrini, and co-starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Collateral Damage.

Neri has one son, Rocco (born 1999), with actor Claudio Amendola.

Golden Balls (film)

Golden Balls (Spanish: Huevos de oro) is a 1993 Spanish film directed by Bigas Luna. It stars Javier Bardem, Maria de Medeiros, Alessandro Gassman, Maribel Verdú and Benicio del Toro.

Goya Award for Best Director

The Goya Award for Best Director (Spanish: Premio Goya a la mejor dirección) is one of the Goya Awards, Spain's principal national film awards.

In the list below the winner of the award for each year is shown first, followed by the other nominees.

Ibiza International Film Festival

Ibiza International Film Festival (Ibiza IFF) is an independent cinema event which takes place every spring on the Island[Sponsors were John Hurt, Terry Gilliam, Sir Alan Parker, Bigas Luna and Ángela Molina. At the 2nd edition of the Festival, Nacho Cano and Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi joined as Sponsors and José Manuel Lorenzo assumed the role of President of the Consulting Committee.

With the slogan The independent spirit, suggested by the Producer Jonathan Debin, this Festival promotes independent productions worldwide.

Its award and symbol is the Falcó d'Or, representing an Eleonora's falcon, a species which nests freely on the cliffs of Ibiza and Formentera and which recalls The Maltese Falcon, by John Huston.

Jamón Jamón

Jamón Jamón (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈmoŋ xaˈmon]; English: Ham, Ham) is a 1992 Spanish comedy/drama film directed by Bigas Luna and starring Javier Bardem, Jordi Mollá and Penélope Cruz in her debut film. It centers on a young woman named Silvia played by Cruz. The film is an allegory for Spain itself and the director engages in word play and pun. It rhapsodises on the juxtaposition of old and new in Spain and many other emotional contrasts such as erotic desire and food.

Lumière and Company

Lumière and Company (original title: Lumière et compagnie) is a 1995 anthology film made in collaboration between forty-one international film directors. The project consists in each of the filmmakers making a short film using the original Cinématographe camera invented by the Lumière brothers.Shorts were edited in-camera and constrained by three rules:

A short may be no longer than 52 seconds

No synchronized sound

No more than three takes

My Name Is Juani

My Name Is Juani (Spanish: Yo soy la Juani) is a 2006 Spanish drama film written and directed by Bigas Luna.

Second Origin

Second Origin is a 2015 Spanish film directed by Carles Porta, after an idea of Bigas Luna, co-produced by Produccions Audiovisuals Antàrtida and Ipso Facto Films. It is an adaptation by Bigas Luna, Carles Porta and Carmen Chaves of the well-known novel Mecanoscrit del segon origen by the Catalan writer Manuel de Pedrolo.

Son de Mar (soundtrack)

Son de Mar is the fifth album by Piano Magic, released on 6 August 2001. It is the soundtrack to the film of the same name (translated into English as Sound of the Sea), directed by Bigas Luna. The album was also the band's first release on 4AD. It was reissued on vinyl for the first time by Public House Recordings in May 2016.

Sound of the Sea

Sound of the Sea (Spanish: Son de Mar) is a 2001 Spanish drama / erotic film directed by Juan José Bigas Luna based on the novel of the same title by Manuel Vicent.

It revolves around Ulises (Jordi Mollà), who comes to a fishing village to teach literature at a local high school. During his stay he falls in love with Martina (Leonor Watling), the daughter of his landlord. Sierra (Eduard Fernández), a rich businessman, also falls in love with her and fruitlessly tries to win her heart.

The Ages of Lulu

The Ages of Lulu (Spanish: Las edades de Lulú) is a 1990 Spanish erotic drama film written and directed by Bigas Luna and starring Francesca Neri, Óscar Ladoire, María Barranco and Javier Bardem. It is based on the homonymous novel by Almudena Grandes. The film is about the title character's life and sexual awakening in Madrid, which leads to her involvement in increasingly dangerous sexual experimentation.

The Chambermaid on the Titanic

The Chambermaid on the Titanic (Spanish: La camarera del Titanic, French: La Femme de chambre du Titanic, Italian: L'immagine del desiderio) is a 1997 French-Italian-Spanish drama film directed by Bigas Luna, starring Oliver Martinez, Romane Bohringer and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon. It is based on the novel La Femme de chambre du Titanic by Didier Decoin. The film is known variously by its French title, La Femme de chambre du Titanic, and also by the shortened English title The Chambermaid, which was adopted in late August 1998 to avoid the impression that it was trying to cash in on the success of James Cameron's popular film, Titanic, which was released the year before The Chambermaid on the Titanic made its US debut.

The Tit and the Moon

The Tit and the Moon (Spanish: La Teta y la luna) is a 1994 Spanish/French film, directed by Bigas Luna. It entered the competition at the 51st Venice International Film Festival.


Volavérunt is a 1999 French-Spanish historical drama film directed by Bigas Luna. It is set in Spain at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

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