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Lucía is a young waitress in a restaurant in the centre of Madrid. After the loss of her long-time boyfriend, a writer, she seeks refuge on a quiet, secluded Mediterranean island. There, bathed in an atmosphere of fresh air and dazzling sun, Lucía begins to discover the dark corners of her past relationship, as if they were forbidden passages of a novel which the author now, from afar, allows her to read. Written by
Some of the most sexual explicit content was made by doubles, not by the main actors. See more »
[At Lorenzo's birthday party]
Well, the baby girl was born in Madrid. But she was conceived on a beach, on an island, a night like tonight, with a stranger from Madrid. It was his birthday. If you write this well, it'll be the story of your life. And my birthday gift to you.
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Credits scroll in the opposite direction. See more »
This movie in my view is not understandable without any notion of the 'soul', whose movements are made visible by magnificent underwater shots. The sexual scenery functions not only as entrance to the story; I think Medem really wanted to depict something like 'the ultimate sex' both as experience and as ultimate, divine ideal, something like Goethes 'eternal feminine.' As something to strive for, it can deeply affect our lives by giving it the splendour we need to keep it worthwhile, even if we fail. At the same time, it is also a power deep down, a dark shadow that haunts us. It's for us to see, to accept, and to decide: do we want to go to our island and unite the two, as Lucia does? In that case, we might see that in the end our stories come true as well, be it by breaking in in the middle.
The question I asked myself after watching the movie for the third time was: where exactly is this 'middle' of it? It seems to me that it's around the scene where Elena is walking through Madrid with Luna in her baby carriage, while passing the apartment of Lucia and Lorenzo. From then on, the decisions made by the novelist - like the shivery death of his child - are such that there is no way back. Lorenzo, Lucia and their relationship are too heavily shaken up. Both have to get into a new reality which can transform their personalities; to both, this means a form of dying and leaving their old personalities behind. They surely resist this, especially Lorenzo; but also he has to put himself at risk, following the demands of his 'blood', that is, of his sex, death and rebirth. And there the story takes over the initiative from the writer, who himself is thrown into it - in the middle, where he leaves his home and runs into his 'accident'. Exactly that scene is not shown - it's the hole in the middle, through which the old reality passes into the new.
For me, this movie is a small masterpiece, which shows how film and literature can work together, and how more powerful ideas about ourselves are then the circumstances we are put into. The 'form' of the persons is therefore changeable: like Lorenzo during the last Island episode has 'changed' into Carlos. As the 'transformed' Lorenzo turns up on the island, with his distress and his love for both Elena and Lucia, 'Carlos' is no longer necessary and the women can leave him behind. The fact that Elena is eventually able to weep, marks the acceptance of her loss, which 'naturally' returns her child to her from the middle of the picture again.
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