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The Ages of Lulú DVD
Reviewed by
Simon Black
on
The Ages of Lulú DVD Review Nevertheless The Ages of Lulú is a brazen and important work from one of Spanish cinemas most overlooked auteurs, and one of the most stark, startling depictions of burgeoning female sexuality ever to grace the screen. 
Rating:
3.25

Feature 7.0
Video 6.5
Audio 5.0
Special Features   0.0
Total 6.5
Distributor: Umbrella
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: R18+

6.5


The Ages of Lulú

Aptly described on its box cover as a tale of ‘scorching Spanish sexual awakening’, Bignas Luna’s 1990 outing The Ages of Lulú is notable for two primary reasons.  Firstly it marks the feature debut of Javier Bartem, who would later win innumerable plaudits for his roles in films such as No Country For Old Men, Before Night Falls and The Sea Inside.  Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it’s one of the provocative and uncompromising raunch-fests ever committed to celluloid. 

Based on the novel by Almudena Grandes, the film revolves around the sexual awakening of its eponymous protagonist, portrayed to great effect by Francesca Neri (who despite playing a 16 year old was actually in her mid-twenties at the time of shooting).  She falls in love with one of her brother’s friends, and the older fellow wastes no time in introducing her to the pleasures of oral sex, the kinkier side of Madrid’s sexual subculture and, during one noteworthy sequence, to the joys of having your pubic hair shaved during a discussion on musical instruments.   

The end result was a frank and highly controversial depiction of teenage sexual exploration.  In the UK several scenes were pruned or excised entirely before the film was allowed a theatrical release; one of these, the title sequence no less, was found to be in contravention of the Child Protection Act.  The Umbrella DVD edition has all these cuts restored, and features the film in its scandalous, ribald entirety.  There aren’t any bonus features, picture quality on the 1.78:1 transfer is somewhat soft in places, and the stereo sound won’t exactly set your home theatre system alight with a blistering display of auditory pyrotechnics.  Nevertheless The Ages of Lulú is a brazen and important work from one of Spanish cinemas most overlooked auteurs, and one of the most stark, startling depictions of burgeoning female sexuality ever to grace the screen. 






 
 



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