5.7/10
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The Ages of Lulu (1990)

Las edades de Lulú (original title)
The story of a young woman's descent into the kinky and dangerous sexual underground in Madrid.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Óscar Ladoire ...
Pablo (as Oscar Ladoire)
...
Ely
...
Marcelo
Rosana Pastor ...
Chelo
...
Juan Graell ...
Remy
Rodrigo Valverde ...
Pablito
...
Encarna
Marta May ...
Madre de Lulú
Gloria Rodriquez ...
Cristina (as Gloria Rodríguez)
Àngel Jové ...
Alicantino (as Angel Jové)
Ainara Pérez ...
Lulú niña
Juan Sala ...
Padre de Lulú
Pepa Serrano ...
Flamenca
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Storyline

In Madrid, teenager Lulu has a crush on Pablo, who is the best friend of her brother Marcelo. One day, they go together to a concert and Lulu loses her virginity to Pablo. However, he travels to the United States and Lulu misses him. When he returns, they meet each other and Pablo proposes to Lulu Soon they befriend Ely and play sexual games with her. Later they have a daughter, Ines. One day, after a party, Pablo blindfolds Lulu and proposes a threesome; when Lulu discovers that she had an incestuous relation with Marcelo, she leaves Pablo to live with Ines in an apartment. Lulu feels bored and soon she is addicted in kinky and bizarre sex with gays in the underground of Madrid. Her erotic journey descends to hell when she meets the dangerous Remy that invites her to the world of sadomasochism. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1991 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Lulu  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though he wanted actresses to play young and adult Lulú, when Francesca Neri auditioned Bigas Luna was so amazed that he decided to have her play both versions. See more »

Quotes

Lulú: I never meant to get into incest.
See more »

Soundtracks

Estás sola
(uncredited)
Written by Carlos Segarra
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User Reviews

 
The Lunacy of Bigas
1 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Bigas Luna's movies are difficult to come by in the U.S., but judging from the few I've seen -- "Jamon, jamon," "Golden Balls," and "The Ages of Lulu" -- he could easily become one of my favorite directors. His movies aren't perfect by any stretch, but I like his direct approach to sexuality and his fondness for envelope pushing. And he really pushes it in "The Ages of Lulu," which takes the standard non-plot of most erotic dramas -- a woman's sexual awakening -- and takes it into dark, disturbing and daring realms. "Emmanuelle" this is not.

Lulu (Francesca Neri) is a virginal teen in Madrid who's got a crush on her brother's friend Pablo (Oscar Ladoire). Pablo takes Lulu to a concert and quickly introduces her to oral sex, shaves her privates and, finally, takes her virginity. Then he's off to the U.S. When he returns Lulu is older but still smitten. After a painful introduction to anal sex, Pablo proposes. Once married, the couple spend most of their time having athletic sex. They pick-up Ely, a trannie hooker/Cher lookalike (played by female Maria Barranco, with some prosthetic help), and even though Ely ends up being a third wheel in the inevitable threesome, she ultimately befriends the couple. She even babysits when they have a daughter. But then one of Pablo's sex games goes too far and Lulu leaves him. On her own, she whiles away her days writing and watching bi-sexual porn videos. Intrigued by man-on-man action, she goes down to a sleazy gay bar and is soon involved in some intense sex play with three gay men (one of whom is played by a young Javier Bardem), who are paid for their services. She's a full-fledged sex addict, and like all addicts, she's going to hit bottom.

I've read reviews of this movie that term the sex scenes as "near pornographic." I wouldn't go that far -- much of the action is darkly lit, with bare crotches often hidden in shadow -- though it's clearly in NC-17 territory, and clearly not a movie that would be made in the U.S. I suspect Luna's portraying homosexual activity in the same unflinching directness that he shows the hetero action may be the real reason people are labeling this movie "pornography" and "filth."

But sex isn't "Lulu"'s problem; narrative is. It's hard to get a grasp on the movie's time frame: it appears to start in the 1960s, then goes directly to the late 1980s, bypassing the 1970s altogether. Lulu's never really defined beyond her sexuality, so she never quite connects as a character. When she leaves her husband she takes their young daughter, but then the girl disappears from her life -- and the movie -- completely. And why does the exploration of sexuality (particularly female sexuality) always have to have such dire consequences? Then again, maybe I'm over-analyzing. That's the problem with "Lulu": it doesn't always aim below the belt, but it can't seem to get its mind out of the gutter.

"The Ages of Lulu" may not be all that easy to watch, but like the Bigas Luna movies I've seen so far, it's even more difficult to forget.


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