Movie Reviews
1:35 pm
Thu October 3, 2002

Sex and Lucia

"Some Cupids kill with arrows, some with traps, " the poet once said.

The allure and the puzzle of sex are amply presented in "Sex and Lucia." After the loss of her long-time boyfriend, a writer, young waitress Lucia retreats from Madrid to a Mediterranean island. There she discovers the labyrinthine life of her lover through the pages of his novel.

Smarter critics than I cannot give an accurate rendering of the convoluted plot. At its most basic, two who don't even know each other's names have a night of sex in the sea around a remote island, resulting in a daughter unknown for many years to the father, the novelist.

Along with periods of writer's block, he becomes involved with a couple of ladies who connect to that early tryst in tangential "six- degrees-of-separation" ways that show the magnetic power of sex and is effect on almost everyone in one way or another.

The setting at times reminds me of Paul Mazursky's 1982 "Tempest"-warm sun and beaches enveloping a magical island. Indeed there is even some magical realism in "Sex and Lucia" associated with the moon, a recurring motif of madness and the name of the central child, Luna.

Director/writer Julio Medem's use of digital camera through much of the film produces washed-out shots of beach and sun-not a favorable visual effect when dealing with passion and love.

Medem has touched on many themes such as the search for a father, the corrosive nature of raw sex, the inspiration of sex for writing, and the interdependence of progeny and sex, parents and lovers. He interestingly wrote the screenplay before he wrote the novel, ending up writing the final screenplay from the novel. These circumstances may be reflected in the confusing plot, but I suspect Medem wished to show the contradictory conundrum sex brings to all who worship at Cupid's altar.

"Some Cupids kill with arrows, some with traps, " the poet once said. Medem succeeds in showing us no one escapes the arrows.