Jamón Jamón

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Jamón Jamón
Jamon, jamon.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bigas Luna
Produced by Andrés Vicente Gómez
Written by Cuca Canals
Bigas Luna
Quim Monzó (Dialogue)
Starring Penélope Cruz
Javier Bardem
Jordi Mollà
Stefania Sandrelli
Anna Galiena
Juan Diego
Tomás Penco
Music by Nicola Piovani
Cinematography José Luis Alcaine
Edited by Teresa Font
Distributed by United States Academy Entertainment Inc
Release date
  • 2 September 1992 (1992-09-02)
Running time
95 mins
Country Spain
Language Spanish

Jamón Jamón (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈmon xaˈmon]; English: Ham, Ham) is a 1992 Spanish comedy/drama film directed by Bigas Luna and starring Javier Bardem, Jordi Mollá and Penélope Cruz in her debut film. It centers on a young woman named Silvia played by Cruz. The film is an allegory for Spain itself[citation needed] and the director engages in word play and pun. It rhapsodises on the juxtaposition of old and new in Spain and many other emotional contrasts such as erotic desire and food.[1]

Plot[edit]

In a lone building on a busy road going through an arid desert in Spain, the beautiful Silvia spends her evenings making potato omelettes to sell at the factory where she works sewing men's underwear. Her mother Carmen works as a prostitute in a roadside brothel nearby. José Luis, pampered son of the factory owners, has been seeing Silvia on the side and when she tells him she has missed two periods, he picks up a soda can tab from the ground to serve as an engagement ring and promises he will stand by her. He cannot promise marriage until he can convince his wealthy parents that she will be a suitable bride.

Appalled, his mother Conchita refuses approval and his father Manuel refuses to intervene. Conchita then decides to get rid of Silvia, who she considers worthless, by having somebody seduce her. She picks Raúl, a swaggering aspiring bullfighter who models part-time, but after being repulsed a few times Raúl becomes genuinely smitten by Silvia and he starts to enjoy her attention. Alarmed at the failure of her ploy, and now desiring the virile Raúl for herself, Conchita gives him a motorcycle (a Yamaha FZR600) so that he will be her lover instead.

Enraged by all this, José Luis nearly rapes Silvia because he seeks revenge on Raúl, and she lets him have his way with her. Desperate to keep Raúl, Conchita has sex with him at the isolated ham warehouse that she supervises when a furious José Luis arrives. The two young men engage in a duel with legs of ham as weapons, at the end of which José Luis is killed and Raúl badly wounded. As Conchita is weeping over her injured lover, her husband Manuel arrives with Silvia and the two comfort each other, he having lost his son and she her fiancé. Then Silvia's mother Carmen turns up to embrace the corpse of José Luis, her lost son-in-law and (in her professional capacity) client. In a timeless moment, across the desert a shepherd herds a flock of sheep.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was shot on the Monegros desert near Zaragoza.

In Spanish, jamón means "ham." In one scene José comments that the taste of Silvia's two breasts is like ham.[2][3]

Awards[edit]

Bigas Luna's won the Silver Lion at the 1992 Venice Film Festival.[citation needed]

Soundtrack[edit]

"Házmelo otra vez" (Concha Valdés Miranda)

References[edit]

External links[edit]