×

Hot Moon

Vicente Aranda continues to mine his themes of passion and politics, but with diminished results.

With:
With: Eduard Fernandez, Thais Blume, Hector Colome, Jose Coronado, Empar Ferrer, Emilio Gutierrez Caba, Mary Carmen Ramirez, Carla Sanchez.

In “Hot Moon,” Spanish vet Vicente Aranda continues to mine his traditional themes of passion and politics, but with vastly diminished results. Set in the ’70s — and mostly looking as if it were made then — this story of a poet who falls victim to the charms of a femme fatale, with tragic results, could have been hailed as a Spanish groundbreaker 40 years ago but now looks passe and carelessly made. Only diehard Aranda fans will take an interest; locally, the Feb. 5 release opened far from hot.

Mempo Giardinelli’s original novel is set in Argentina, but Aranda has relocated it to Spain at the time of the famous Burgos trials, when Basque terrorists were controversially condemned to death by the ailing Franco regime. Juan (Eduard Fernandez) has returned from exile in Paris and, at the house of Republican Dr. Muniente (Emilio Gutierrez Caba), falls for his daughter, dangerously young Ramona (Thais Blume). She unaccountably comes on to him, and Juan rapes her and leaves her for dead.

Popular on Variety

While trying to escape, Juan kills Muniente; soon Ramona reappears, telling Juan she actually enjoyed being raped. Meanwhile, a police inspector (Jose Coronado, the pic’s best thing) is sniffing around and, in one magnificently bizarre scene, interrogates Juan in a graveyard just after Juan has had sex with Ramona at her father’s funeral. The arrival of the cops opens up a noirish strand about political corruption that soon becomes incoherent.

Fernandez, a quietly tense performer, often ensures quality, but here struggles with a script that makes no attempt to explain why he rapes and kills. Many scenes are introduced by onscreen quotes — some invented, and often on the Jekyll & Hyde theme — that seem designed to inject some intellectual heft into a movie that wobbles uncertainly between the literal and the metaphorical.

Tech credits are low-budget. Film’s attitude toward rape, supplemented by some un-PC statements by Aranda, have whipped up some local media interest.

Hot Moon

Spain

Production: A Paramount Pictures Espana release of a Corte & Confeccion de Peliculas, Cre-Accion Films, Viviana Films production, in association with Plot Films, with participation of TVE, TVC. (International sales: Cre-Accion Films, Madrid.) Produced by Teresa Font, Nano Montero, Rodolfo Montero, Vicente Aranda. Directed, written by Vicente Aranda, based on the novel by Mempo Giardinelli.

Crew: Camera (color), Joaquin Manchado; editor, Teresa Font; music, Jose Nieto; art director, Josep Rosell; sound (Dolby), Albert Manera, Alberto Garcia, David Calleja, Jaime Barros. Reviewed at Cines Renoir, Madrid, Feb. 8, 2010. Running time: 91 MIN.

With: With: Eduard Fernandez, Thais Blume, Hector Colome, Jose Coronado, Empar Ferrer, Emilio Gutierrez Caba, Mary Carmen Ramirez, Carla Sanchez.

More Film

  • Charades Scores Flurry of Sales Across

    Charades Scores Flurry of Sales Across Prestige Animation Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    Charades, the Paris-based sales company behind the Oscar-nominated “I Lost My Body” and “Mirai,” has closed a raft of deals on high-profile animated features, including “Little Nicholas” and “Marona’s Fantastic Tale.” Anca Damian’s “Marona’s Fantastic Tale,” which world premiered in competition at last year’s Annecy Film Festival and was nominated at the European Film Awards, [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Federation Entertainment Acquires Alejandro Amenabar’s ‘Thesis’ for Series Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris and Los Angeles-based Federation Entertainment has acquired the TV format and remake rights to Alejandro Amenábar’s debut feature, “Thesis.” It’s a prime example of the value of key older movie titles from standout younger foreign-language auteurs. Producer of “The Bureau,” “Marseille,” “Bad Banks” and “Hostages,” Federation Entertainment will produce a drama series based on [...]

  • European Film Market Berlinale Berlin Film

    Berlin: NL Film, Hupe Film Board 'Life Through a Dead Man's Eyes' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amsterdam-based NL Film and Hupe Film in Cologne have boarded Jo Baier’s upcoming Nazi war criminal horror thriller “Life Through a Dead Man’s Eyes.” The companies join co-producers Films in Motion (FIM), the Berlin-based shingle run by American producer René Asch, and Angelika Mohr’s Morefilms in Munich, which is also handling world sales. German thesps [...]

  • Luna Nera Netflix Italy

    Italy's Women Filmmakers Set to Make Waves

    The Berlinale in recent years has been a prime launching pad for Italian films directed by women, which though fewer in number to their male counterparts, make up a considerable portion of the country’s representation on the festival circuit — Alice Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”) at Cannes, Susanna Nicchiarelli (“Nico”) at Venice, and Berlin regular [...]

  • Bad Tales Italian Cinema

    Italian Programmers and Directors Take on Top Jobs at International Fests

    Though hiring a foreigner to run a national institution such as the Berlinale in Germany is rather rare, it’s been happening to other Italians lately. Carlo Chatrian at Berlin is the most prominent case. But there are several more. In 2018, Italy’s Paolo Moretti, who now heads the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, became the first non-French [...]

  • Scandinavia's Snowglobe Shows Knack for Auteurs

    Scandinavia's Snowglobe Shows Knack for Auteurs

    One of the hippest, most international Scandinavian companies, the Copenhagen-based Snowglobe, is the 5-year-old banner behind “Wildland,” the female-powered crime film set to world premiere at the Berlinale. Starring Sidse Babett Knudsen (“Borgen”) as a mafia ringleader and introducing Sandra Guldberg Kampp, “Wildland” was written by Ingeborg Topsoe (“The Charmer”) and directed by Jeanette Nordahl. [...]

  • Beyond The Raging Sea

    Mad Solutions/Vox to Release Refugee Doc 'Beyond The Raging Sea' Across MENA (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Beyond the Raging Sea,” an extreme sea adventure documentary aimed at raising awareness of the global refugee crisis, is set for a wide theatrical release across the MENA region via Arab marketing and distribution company Mad Solutions and Middle East exhibitor Vox Cinemas. The deal between the two companies and the International Emerging Film Talent [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content