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La teta y la luna (1994)

A child cannot stand the idea of having a new brother and dreams about drinking milk from the breasts of his mother again. The child asks the moon to bring him a teet only for him.

Director:

Bigas Luna

Writers:

Josep Bargalló (additional dialogue), Cuca Canals | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Biel Duran ... Tete (as Biel Durán)
Mathilda May ... Estrellita, la Gabacha
Gérard Darmon ... Maurice, el Gabacho
Miguel Poveda Miguel Poveda ... Miguel, el Charnego
Abel Folk ... El Padre
Laura Mañá ... La Madre
Genís Sánchez Genís Sánchez ... Stallone
Xavier Massé Xavier Massé ... El Abuelo (as Xavier Masse)
Victoria Lepori Victoria Lepori ... La de las Tetas
Xus Estruch Xus Estruch ... La Madre de Stallone
Jane Harvey Jane Harvey ... La Caballé
Vanessa Isbert Vanessa Isbert ... Novia de Stallone
Jordi Busquets Jordi Busquets ... Cap Colla Rosa
Diego Fernández Diego Fernández ... Anxaneta Colla Rosa
Salvador Anglada Salvador Anglada ... Casteller Pastillas
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Storyline

A child cannot stand the idea of having a new brother and dreams about drinking milk from the breasts of his mother again. The child asks the moon to bring him a teet only for him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain | France

Language:

Catalan | Spanish | French

Release Date:

29 March 1995 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Teté & the Moon See more »

Filming Locations:

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Third part of Bigas Luna's "Iberian Trilogy" also including Jamón, jamón and Huevos de oro See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

L'Homme à la Moto
Music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Lyrics by Jean Dréjac
Performed by Édith Piaf
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Invocation of my Moon Goddess
17 February 2019 | by apres_vagueSee all my reviews

"In the beginning was the breast." -Marilyn Yalom. For the nine year old Teté (Biel Durán) breasts mean milk and milk means love. As his mother's maternal affections and breast milk turn to his newborn baby brother, Teté invokes the moon to bring him a breast of his own in this surreal coming of age comedy by one of Spain's greatest and most controversial auteurs, Bigas Luna.

'The Tit and the Moon' (La teta y la luna) first released in 1994, entered the competition at the 51st Venice International Film Festival. It follows Jamón Jamón and Golden Balls in Luna's 'Iberian passion trilogy' that won him international acclaim; yet remains the least talked about and most underrated film in the trilogy. It's also its warmest and most gentle entry.

In many ways Teté remains merely a spectator in his own story, a voyeur and narrator. His quest for finding his own set of breasts seems doomed from the beginning, Tete is too old to be breast fed and too young to be sexually active.

While this is most certainly the tale of his sexual awakening, Tete desires often to come over as asexual and naive. He seems to make no separation between his mother and other women and merely wants to reclaim his birth-right that has been unfairly robbed off with the arrival of his new brother. Tete loses himself more and more in his own fantasies and lives them out through the characters he spies on, such as flamenco singing teenage heartthrob Miguel (Miguel Poveda) and his friend the body builder Stallone (Genís Sánchez).

When the beautiful French dancer and cabaret artist Estrellita (played by Mathilda May - you might remember her best as the naked space vampire in Tobe Hooper's 'Lifeforce') arrives in town, Tete thinks his spell has worked and his prayers have been answered, but Estrellita seems well guarded by her partner (in life as well as on stage) theHarley Davidson riding elderly biker Maurice (Gérard Darmon) to whom she seems endlessly devoted.

Miguel as well soon begins to obsess over Estrellita and wants to seduce her through his Flamenco singing. While Miguel poses as yet another rival in Tete's life he also acts as a window for Tete to get closer to her.

The film touches on many of Luna's familiar themes such as virility and machismo; one scene shows strong man Stallone crack a walnut with his muscles after a workout session. The film is filled with phallic symbolism and quests of strength and conquering. This is already established in the opening scene when the villagers erect a phallic looking human tower known as castell. This Catalan tradition of building human towers dates back to the 18th century with its origins in a traditional folklore dance from the city of Valls. Tete tries to climb to the top but the tower collapses each time before he makes it to the highest point. Eventually Tete is replaced by another boy who reaches the top and is cheered by the exuberant crowd. I'm hesitant to say that the film touches on the occult or magic, but at the same time I can't help but feel that there is more to the images, themes and rituals on display, whether this is premeditated or comes from a more primal place. Male rivalry is also a central theme, while I already established Tete's envy over his younger brother's constant access to their mother's breasts; throughout the film men envy each other's women, motorcycles, singing abilities and muscles often with an underlined homoerotic desire.

Men, despite their shameless displays of machismo aren't violent gorillas, and most of them get a chance to show their sensitive side. With the exception of Stallone and Tete's father we see almost every male character cry on screen at least once.

Closeted homoerotic desires aside, the men only want one thing, breasts. On the other hand Estrellita (the only three dimensional female character in the film) has far more interesting and kinky desires, such as a fetish for smelly feet (we see her sucking on Maurice's foot before telling him it tastes like Roquefort and later she opens Miguel's boots to sniff his feet) as well as the taste of salty tears (she keeps Maurice's tears in a jar to lick them after sex). She also seems to find it romantic when her man farts for her. Farts and his motorbike don't just make him the object of desire in her eyes and envy of other men, but a star. Miguel and Estrellita's traveling act consists of her dancing ballet around him while he's sitting on his Harley before performing several circus tricks by farting loudly.

Though her grace and dance makes her the true artist on stage, she is merely perceived as a prop while the audience cheers for the man on the motorcycle setting his farts on fire. Her breast is exposed twice during their performance with her tit being treated merely as a punchline to his act.

The symbolism of the female breast has often been shaped by religious, political, and social ideas... whether they may be depicted as sacred object, symbol for life/ fertility or merely as a means of arousal or displayed for comic effect. Luna is certainly not the first to feature breasts or the act of breast-feeding in the movies, but all of these ideas and more are represented beautifully and often ironically in The Tit and the Moon. At the same time, the breast is almost a McGuffin in the film, a holy grail or a catalyst for desire, drama and milk, the magic elixir of life.

Other noteworthy and equally surreal examples of breast feeding in film would be Travis (Malcolm McDowell) being nursed back to health by a breastfeeding nun in Lindsay Anderson's 'O' Lucky Man', and Miss Monde's spiritual resurrection after being breastfed by a female member of the Vienna aktionists in Dusan Makavejev's 'Sweet Movie'.

Luna was no stranger to sex and taboo subjects, ever since he first started making films in the late 70's his work was filled with incest, sado-masochism, pathological obsession, nude bull fights, rape, machismo, meat and bestiality, often using sexual symbolism to mirror Spanish society. In Bambola several characters make liberating or destructive revelations about their own sexuality and desires after being raped. While his cold and equally poetic and horrifying masterpiece Caniche (aka Poodle) revolves around a woman's special relationship with her poodle (who goes down on her frequently) and her half-brother's frustrations of seeing the dog mount the woman he can't have, which he unleashes by mistreating and sodomizing wild dogs he keeps locked in cages before raping his sister in an explosive and bloody climax. The Ages of Lulu, an adaptation of the bestselling novel by Almudena Grandes, again featured incest as well as Bigas Luna would later note "my thing: transvestites and sadism." Much of Luna's work is often under attack for claims of sexism, homophobia and misogyny ('The Tit and the Moon' is no exception), though this would be missing the point entirely.

The Tit and the Moon deals with many similar all-consuming obsessions and sexual frustrations as his earlier films, but we never see characters downward spiral this deep into self-destruction. Compared to early shockers like Caniche and Bilbao - this is Luna light. Nor is it as sexually charged as Jamón Jamón and the Ages of Lulu or as multi-layered and ambitious as his innovative horror film Anguish (perhaps my personal favourite of his). In short, The Tit and the Moon is as "mainstream" as Luna could possibly get without losing his voice. This does not make the film's symbolic images any less powerful (and there is still plenty here for the easily offended to get all riled up about). As always Luna's trademark mix of lurid melodrama and surrealism ensures an unforgettable cinematic experience further heightened by Nicola Piovani's hypnotic score (Who also scored both of the previous entries in Luna's Iberian passion trilogy and would go on to win the Academy Award for Life is Beautiful just three years later) and stunning cinematography by Spanish master Jose Luis Alcaine (the first cinematographer to use fluorescent tubes as "key" lightning and frequent collaborator of Pedro Almodovar).

In the film's most famous and stand-out scene, Estrellita shoots milk out of her breast like an angel water fountain directly into Tete's mouth. This scene, like many others is only in Tete's fantasy world, while he never truly achieves to suckle on any real life woman's breasts. In grand bookends fashion the film ends with the building of a human tower one year later, and just like in the beginning Tete climbs the tower, only this time to make it all the way to the top.


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