The Bigas Luna Tribute LOS ANGELES, a collaboration between the American Cinematheque, Durham University, the Instituto Cervantes Los Angeles and EGEDA US, took place from 17-24th March 2023.
This specially curated event featured screenings of the ‘Iberian Portraits’ Trilogy and other Bigas Luna classics, including the horror cult movie Anguish (1986), starring the late Zelda Rubinstein and Michael Lerner, and the rarely seen Caniche (1979).
Screenings were introduced by Bigas Luna specialist and Bigas Luna Tribute coordinator (with Betty Bigas) Santiago Fouz Hernandez and by filmmakers F Javier Gutiérrez and Santiago Garrido Rua. Screenings at American Cinematheque included pre-intros with senior film programmer Chris LeMaire, Aero Theatre general Manager Ryan Marker and Los Feliz 3 theatre coordinators/managers Ryan Burr and Christian Mealha. The sold-out screening of Anguish on March 20th was introduced by James Branscome, coordinator of the ‘Cinema Void’ series at the American Cinematheque. The screening at Instituto Cervantes LA was presented by the Institute’s director, writer Luisgé Martín.
We are grateful to Gwen Deglise (former deputy director), F Javier Guitiérrez, Dennis Bartok (Deaf Crocodile Films), John Ewing (Cleveland Cinematheque) and Elvi Cano (Instituto Cervantes) for their help in the early stages and to everyone else who worked for this event at AC, including Sarah Bean Freed (Senior Director), Grant Moninger (Director of Programming), Nick Vance (Prints Traffic Coordinator), Imani M Davis (programmer), John Hagelston (Programming administrator), Michele Anderson (Director of operations), Oriana Nudo (archivist), Cindy Fernanda Flores and Lyric Luedke (operations managers).
With great audience response and over 1000 tickets sold, this was one of our most successful programmes and a great way to start our 9th year of events.
The legendary AERO Theater in Santa Monica (1328 Montana Avenue, CA 90403) programmed Jamón jamón (1992, 35mm with English subtitles) on Friday March 17th and a double bill featuring Huevos de oro/Golden Balls (1993, 35mm with English subtitles) and La teta y la luna/The Tit and the Moon (1994, 35 mm with English subtitles).
Screenings of the Iberian Portraits trilogy at Aero also included the premiere of a short video essay (13 min) about masculinities in the films of Bigas Luna. The video was directed by Santiago Garrido Rua and informed by Santiago Fouz Hernández’s research on the topic.
‘ABOUT LUNA, Episode 1: Masculinities‘ started as a collaboration between the two during Garrido’s Zurbarán Centre fellowship at Durham University in 2020.
LOS FELIZ 3 Theater in Hollywood (1822 N Vermont Ave, CA 90027) hosted a very rare screening of the controversial Caniche/Poodle (1979, with English subtitles) on Sunday 19th. Anguish (1986, in English) was included in the Cinematic Void series with a sold-out screening on March 20th. The screening was introduced by filmmaker Javier Gutiérrez (Before the Fall, Rings). Los Feliz 3 also hosted late-night encore screenings of the ‘Iberian Portraits’ trilogy between March 22nd and March 24th at 10 pm.
In collaboration with the recently opened Instituto Cervantes in Los Angeles we presented the posthumous documentary Bigas x Bigas (2016), based on more than 300 hours of video diaries filmed by Bigas Luna himself in the last few years of his life. The film editor and co-director, Santiago Garrido Rua, introduced the film via video. This well-attended event was screening was presented by the Instituto Cervantes LA director, write Luisgé Martín and it was followed by a roundtable discussion with Prof Fouz Hernández. It was the first public cultural event hosted by the Los Angeles headquarters or the Institute Cervantes, which opened only 3 months earlier, in December 2022.
In addition to those already named, we are grateful to all the people who made this possible, to all the projectionists, and volunteers at the American Cinematheque and to all the photographers credited in the relevant images in the gallery above. Thank you also to Dr Christian Mieves for his graphic design of the postcards and banner based on an original concept by Betty Bigas and the social media cards based on a concept by Santiago Fouz. Last, but not least, thank you to all the people who attended the screenings!
American Cinematheque (Bigas Luna)
LOS FELIZ 3 Theater
Instituto Cervantes Los Angeles
Postcard – FRONT | BACK
Press release – Durham University
The next BIGAS LUNA TRIBUTE events will be announced later this year.
For more info and group bookings please contact firstname.lastname@example.org