Jamon Jamon

A juicy and deliciously over-the-top piece of Spanish raunchiness with melodramatic as well as erotic overtones, this won the Silver Lion at the 1992 Venice film festival. Bigas Luna’s comedy–whose title might

be roughly translated (with pun added) as Double Hammv–is funnier to my taste than anything by Pedro Almodovar in his postpunk phase. (The fleshy and uninhibited satirical mode recalls Al Capp’s comic strip Li’l Abner in more ways than one.) Determined to prevent her son from marrying a prostitute’s daughter who works in a men’s underwear factory, the wife of the factory’s owner hires a stud to seduce her, then falls for the same hunk of meat herself; in the ensuing fracas involving food, class, animals, passion, and porking, overripeness is all, right down to the climactic ham-bone duel. With Stefania Sandrelli, Javier Bardem, Jordi Molla, and Penelope Cruz. Pipers Alley.

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