The Ages of Lulu
The Ages of Lulu is a 1990 Spanish erotic drama film written and directed by Bigas Luna and starring Francesca Neri, Óscar Ladoire, María Barranco and Javier Bardem. It is based on the homonymous novel by Almudena Grandes; the film is about the title character's life and sexual awakening in Madrid, which leads to her involvement in dangerous sexual experimentation. The fifteen-year-old Lulú is seduced by Pablo, her brother Marcelo's best friend, who leaves to work in the United States. Lulú is sustained for years by the belief; when he returns he proposes to her and they are married. Pablo and Lulú have a passionate relationship. On one nocturnal expedition they join up with a transgender prostitute called Ely who becomes their friend; the couple have Ines. Pablo convinces Lulú to participate blindfolded in a threesome. However, her own desire to play dangerous sex games now comes to consume her. After becoming aroused watching a gay porn movie, she seeks out gay men and pays them to join in orgies, or watch them having sex.
Unable to pay enough to satisfy her desires, she meets a pimp called Remy who runs a secret S&M club. Ely tries to warn Lulú that Remy is dangerous. Remy tells Lulú to go to a club, where she is tied up by Jimmy, a gay man she had paid for sex, she is forced to endure violent sex while gagged and bound. Ely tells Pablo, she goes to the club to rescue her, but is attacked by Jimmy and killed when her head hits a metal bar. Pablo calls the police, who arrest the others. Lulú and Pablo are reunited. Francesca Neri as Lulú Óscar Ladoire as Pablo María Barranco as Ely Javier Bardem as Jimmy Fernando Guillén Cuervo as Marcelo Rosana Pastor as Chelo Juan Graell as Remy Rodrigo Valverde as Pablito Pilar Bardem as Encarna Marta May as Lulú's mother Gloria Rodriquez as Cristina Ángel Jovè as Alicantino Ainara Pérez as Lulú as a child Juan Sala as Lulú's father Pepa Serrano as Flamenca The film is an adaptation of the international best-selling novel with the same name written by Almudena Grandes. Ángela Molina, cast in the lead role, withdrew when she learned how explicit the sex scenes were to be.
Javier Bardem has a uncredited role as a corrupt gay man, one of his first roles on screen. Neri is dubbed into Spanish by another actress; the film was cut in the UK by two minutes and 55 seconds by the BBFC. These cuts include an S&M orgy at a gay club being shortened, a man sexually touching Lulu and a sex scene. In addition to these cuts an opening scene in which Lulu is baptised as a baby was cut as the child's genitalia is exposed to camera; the 2002 UK DVD required 1:15 cuts for baptism scene. The Ages of Lulu was listed on Film4's 50 Sexiest Film Moments. María Barranco won the Goya Award as Best Supporting Actress for her role as a transsexual prostitute; the Ages of Lulu was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in December 2011. The DVD is compatible with region code 4; the Ages of Lulu on IMDb
Spaniards, or the Spanish people, are a Romance ethnic group that are indigenous to Spain. They share a common Spanish culture, history and language. Within Spain, there are a number of nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history and diverse culture. Although the official language of Spain is known as "Spanish", it is only one of the national languages of Spain, is less ambiguously known as Castilian, a standard language based on the medieval romance speech of the Kingdom of Castile in north and central Spain; the Spanish people's heritage includes the pre-Celts and Celts. There are several spoken regional languages, most notably Basque and Galician. There are many populations outside Spain with ancestors who emigrated from Spain and who share a Hispanic culture; the Roman Republic conquered Iberia during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. As a result of Roman colonization, the majority of local languages, with the exception of Basque, stem from the Vulgar Latin; the Germanic Vandals and Suebi, with part of the Iranian Alans under King Respendial conquered the peninsula in 409 AD.
In turn, the Visigoths established themselves in Spain. The Iberian Peninsula was conquered and brought under the rule of the Arab Umayyads in 711 and by the Berber North African dynasties the Almohads and the Almoravids in the 11th and 12th centuries. Following the eight century Christian Reconquista against the Moors, the modern Spanish state was formed with the union of the Kingdoms of Castille and Aragon, the conquest of the last Muslim Nasrid Kingdom of Granada and the Canary Islands in the late 15th century. In the early 16th century the Kingdom of Navarre was conquered; as Spain expanded its empire in the Americas, religious minorities in Spain such as Jews and Muslims were either converted or expelled and the Catholic church fiercely persecuted heresy during a period known as the Spanish Inquisition. A small number of Spaniards descend from converted Jewish and North Africans, as a result of the 800 years of Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. In parallel, a wave of emigration to the Americas began, with over 1.86 million Spaniards emigrating to the Spanish Americas during the colonial period and the population of the Spanish Empire had risen to 16.8 million by the end of the 18th century In the post-colonial period, a further 3.5 million Spanish left for the Americas Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
Spain is home to one of the largest communities of Romani people. The Government's statistical agency CIS estimated in 2007 that the number of Gitanos present in Spain is around one million; the Spanish Roma, which belong to the Iberian Kale subgroup, are a formerly-nomadic community, which spread across Western Asia, North Africa, Europe, first reaching Spain in the 15th century. The population of Spain is becoming diverse due to recent immigration. From 2000 to 2010, Spain had among the highest per capita immigration rates in the world and the second highest absolute net migration in the World and immigrants now make up about 10% of the population; the prolonged economic crisis between 2008 and 2015 reduced both immigration rates and the total number of foreigners in the country, Spain becoming once more a net emigrant country. The earliest modern humans inhabiting Spain are believed to have been Neolithic peoples who may have arrived in the Iberian Peninsula as early as 35,000–40,000 years ago.
In more recent times the Iberians are believed to have arrived or developed in the region between the 4th millennium BC and the 3rd millennium BC settling along the Mediterranean coast. Celts settled in Spain during the Iron Age; some of those tribes in North-central Spain, which had cultural contact with the Iberians, are called Celtiberians. In addition, a group known as the Tartessians and Turdetanians inhabited southwestern Spain and who are believed to have developed a separate civilization of Phoenician influence; the seafaring Phoenicians and Carthaginians successively founded trading colonies along the Mediterranean coast over a period of several centuries. The Second Punic War between the Carthaginians and Romans was fought in what is now Spain and Portugal; the Roman Republic conquered Iberia during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC transformed most of the region into a series of Latin-speaking provinces. As a result of Roman colonization, the majority of local languages, with the exception of Basque, stem from the Vulgar Latin, spoken in Hispania, which evolved into the modern languages of the Iberian Peninsula, including Castilian, which became the main lingua franca of Spain, is now known in most countries as Spanish.
Hispania emerged as an important part of the Roman Empire and produced notable historical figures such as Trajan, Hadrian and Quintilian. The Germanic Vandals and Suebi, with part of the Iranian Alans under King Respendial, arrived in the peninsula in 409 AD. Part of the Vandals with the remaining Alans, now under Geiseric in personal union removed themselves to North Africa after a few conflicts with another Germanic tribe, the Visigoths, who established in Toulouse supported Roman campaigns against the Vandals and Alans in 415–19 AD and became the dominant power in Iberia for three centuries; the Visigoths were romanized in the eastern Empire and Christians, so their integration withi
María Cayetana de Silva, 13th Duchess of Alba
María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva-Álvarez de Toledo y Silva, 13th Duchess of Alba, GE, was a Spanish aristocrat and a popular subject of the painter Francisco de Goya y Lucientes. María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva Alvarez de Toledo became the 13th Duchess of Alba in 1776, her marriage to José Álvarez de Toledo, 11th Marquis of Villafranca, made her and her husband the wealthiest couple in the Kingdom of Spain. The Duchess' relationship with famed Spanish painter Francisco Goya and her somewhat eccentric personality have contributed to a continuing interest in her life during the two centuries since her death. Goya executed several well-known portraits of the duchess, most of them during his stay at Sanlúcar de Barrameda, shortly after the death of her husband, the Duke of Alba, Duke of Medina Sidonia, in 1796. Goya's accompaniment of the widowed Duchess combined with certain innuendo expressed in his portraits of her have exacerbated rumors that the two were lovers. Although this has never been confirmed, the sheer number of portraits the artist painted of the duchess suggests, at the least, a close platonic relationship between the two.
The painting La maja desnuda, executed between 1797 and 1800 by Goya, has been rumored to portray her. The painting, considered scandalous by Spanish society of the time, depicts a nude reclining woman. It, together with a companion piece depicting the same model clothed, La maja vestida, was commissioned by Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy; the true identity of the Majas is uncertain. Many art historians over the years have rejected the possibility that the painting depicts the duchess, including Australian art critic Robert Hughes in his 2003 biography, Goya; those scholars believe that the painting depicts either Godoy's young mistress or an idealized composite of several different models. The Duchess died under somewhat mysterious circumstances in July 1802 at the age of 40. Although her death was ostensibly due to tuberculosis and a fever, more colorful scenarios have been suggested over the years, among them a theory that she was poisoned, she had no biological issue. After her death, the title Duke of Alba passed to a relative, Carlos Miguel Fitz-James Stuart, who became the 14th Duke of Alba
The Chambermaid on the Titanic
The Chambermaid on the Titanic is a 1997 French-Italian-Spanish drama film directed by Bigas Luna, starring Oliver Martinez, Romane Bohringer and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon. It is based on the novel La Femme de chambre du Titanic by Didier Decoin; the film is known variously by its French title, La Femme de chambre du Titanic, by the shortened English title The Chambermaid, adopted in late August 1998 to avoid the impression that it was trying to cash in on the success of James Cameron's popular film, released the year before The Chambermaid on the Titanic made its US debut. In 1912, the protagonist, leads an uneventful life as a foundry worker in the Lorraine region of northern France with his wife, Zoe, "the most beautiful woman in town." The owner of the foundry where Horty works, lusts after Zoe. When Horty wins a company athletic contest, Simeon's prize is a ticket to Southampton to see the sailing of the RMS Titanic; the night before the Titanic departs, Horty meets a beautiful young woman named Marie, who explains that she is a chambermaid aboard the Titanic.
Marie has nowhere to sleep because all of the local hotels are full, Horty agrees to share his room. Their encounter is chaste, with Marie sleeping in the bed while Horty spends the night in the armchair. However, in the middle of the night Marie tries to seduce him. Whether or not she succeeds is ambiguous, she is gone when Horty awakes. Attending the departure of the Titanic, Horty spots a photographer taking a picture of Marie, asks the photographer for the photo. Upon returning home, Horty finds that he has been promoted, but this good news is dampened by rumors of an affair between his wife and the foundry owner, Simeon. A bitter and jealous Horty visits a local bar to drown his sorrows. Drunk, he tells friends and co-workers about the lovely chambermaid he met in Southampton, earning him free drinks and tips. Following the sinking of the Titanic, Horty's tales become erotic, the viewer is never sure what is truth and what is fantasy. Horty catches the attention of a traveling entertainer named Zeppe.
Zeppe offers Horty the chance to escape his dismal dreary life. Horty begins to work with Zeppe, converting his story into a play. One night, Zoe attends the play. However, Horty's story becomes more elaborate and romantic attracting a larger audience for each re-telling driving a wedge between him and his wife. Zoe demands a part in the performance, playing the role of Marie poignantly fighting against the waves after the Titanic sinks; the film ends by revealing. Olivier Martinez as Horty Aitana Sánchez-Gijón as Marie Romane Bohringer as Zoé Aldo Maccione as Zeppe Didier Bezace as Siméon Jean-Marie Juan as Pascal Arno Chevrier as Al Salvador Madrid as Léon Marianne Groves as Mathilde Didier Bénureau as Siméon's secretary Alberto Cassadie as Giovanni Giorgio Gobbi as Manu Yves Verhoeven as Gaspard Vincenzo De Caro as Lacroix Stefania Orsola Garello as Mimi Barbara Lerici as Blanche The Chambermaid on the Titanic received an 81% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 16 reviews. Mick LaSelle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Chambermaid for what he felt was a rare honest portrayal of male sexuality.
He called it "a tribute to longing itself" saying that that made it "unique." Bill Gallo of the Dallas Observer called it "beautiful, complex overwrought" and "a rich meditation on the uses of imagination and the power of desire". However, Stephen Holden of the New York Times felt that the film "never finds a visual vocabulary to match the elegance of its ideas". Richard von Busack of Metro Silicon Valley criticised some of the casting, finding Aitana Sanchez-Gijon as Marie too obvious a temptress and never quite believing that Romane Bohringer as Zoe could have been unfaithful. However, he compared Chambermaid favourably to James Cameron's film Titanic saying The Chambermaid on the Titanic "is a smarter and far more elegant film" and that "it gets into the heart of the matter; the central question is not why did the great ship go down? but why do we love to tell stories about it?" Peter Keough of The Phoenix agreed saying, " treatment of the same themes of love and the redeeming power of fantasy is a lot more subtle and satisfying."
Jeff Vice of the Deseret News was unimpressed with the film feeling that the ending was "contrived" and that many of the cast seem "unsure of motivations". He felt that "the set pieces are bound to pale in comparison to those in Titanic." Goya Award for Best Adapted Screenplay 1997 Goya Award for Costume Design 1997 Golden Pyramid 1997, Bigas Luna Best Director 1997, Cairo International Film Festival, Bigas Luna CEC Award for Best Screenplay, adapted, 1997, Bigas Luna, Cuca Canals Turia Award for Best Actress 1998, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon La Femme de chambre du Titanic on IMDb Review in Variety
Paella is a Valencian rice dish that has ancient roots but its modern form originated in the mid-19th century in the area around Albufera lagoon on the east coast of Spain adjacent to the city of Valencia. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols. Types of paella include Valencian paella, vegetable paella, seafood paella, mixed paella, among many others. Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe and consists of white rice, green beans, garrofó, sometimes snails, seasoning such as saffron and rosemary. Artichoke hearts and stems are used as seasonal ingredients. Seafood paella omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat from land animals, seafood and sometimes beans. Most paella chefs use bomba rice due to it being less to overcook, but Valencians tend to use a stickier variety known as Senia. All types of paellas use olive oil.
Paella is a Valencian word which derives from the Old French word paelle for pan, which in turn comes from the Latin word patella for pan. The word paella is related to paila used in many Latin American countries. Paila in the Spanish language of Latin America refers to a variety of cookware resembling metal and clay pans, which are used for both cooking and serving; the Latin root patella from which paella derives is akin to the modern French poêle, the Italian padella and the Old Spanish padilla. Valencians use the word paella for all pans in the Valencian language, including the specialized shallow pan used for cooking paellas. However, in most other parts of Spain and throughout Hispanic America where the Spanish language is spoken, the term paellera is more used for the specialised pan while paella is reserved for the rice dish prepared in it, although both terms are deemed correct for the pan, as stated by the Royal Spanish Academy, the body responsible for regulating the Spanish language in Spain.
Paelleras are traditionally round and made of polished steel with two handles. Some claim that the word paella comes from the Arabic بَقيَّة, pronounced baqiyyah, meaning "leftovers"; this claim is based on the 8th-century custom in which Moorish kings' servants would take home the rice and vegetables their employers left at the end of the meal. However, this etymology is impossible because paella didn't appear until six centuries after Moorish Valencia was conquered by Jaume I. Moors in Muslim Spain began rice cultivation around the 10th century. Valencians made casseroles of rice and spices for family gatherings and religious feasts, thus establishing the custom of eating rice in Spain; this led to rice becoming a staple by the 15th century. Afterwards, it became customary for cooks to combine rice with vegetables and dry cod, providing an acceptable meal for Lent. Along Spain's eastern coast, rice was predominantly eaten with fish. Spanish food historian Lourdes March notes that the dish "symbolizes the union and heritage of two important cultures, the Roman, which gives us the utensil and the Arab which brought us the basic food of humanity for centuries."
On special occasions, 18th century Valencians used calderos to cook rice in the open air of their orchards near lake Albufera. Water vole meat was one of the main ingredients of early paellas, along with butter beans. Novelist Vicente Blasco Ibáñez described the Valencian custom of eating water voles in Cañas y Barro, a realistic novel about life among the fishermen and peasants near lake Albufera. Living standards rose with the sociological changes of the late 19th century in Spain, giving rise to gatherings and outings in the countryside; this led to a change in paella's ingredients, as well, using instead rabbit, chicken and sometimes snails. This dish became so popular that in 1840, a local Spanish newspaper first used the word paella to refer to the recipe rather than the pan; the most used, complete ingredient list of this era was: short-grain white rice, rabbit, duck, butter beans, great northern beans, runner beans, tomatoes, fresh rosemary, sweet paprika, garlic, olive oil, water. Poorer Valencians, sometimes used nothing more than snails for meat.
Valencians insist. On the Mediterranean coast, Valencians used seafood instead of meat and beans to make paella. Valencians regard this recipe as authentic, as well. In this recipe, the seafood is served in the shell. A variant on this is paella del senyoret. However, Spaniards living outside of Valencia combined seafood with meat from land animals and mixed paella was born; this paella is sometimes called preparación barroca due to the variety of ingredients and its final presentation. During the 20th century, paella's popularity spread past Spain's borders; as other cultures set out to make paella, the dish invariably acquired regional influences. Paella recipes went from being simple to including a wide variety of seafood, sausage and many different seasonings. However, the most globally popular recipe is seafood paella. Throughout non-Va
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
Golden Balls (film)
Golden Balls is a 1993 Spanish film directed by Bigas Luna. It stars Maria de Medeiros, Alessandro Gassman, Maribel Verdú and Benicio del Toro. Benito González is a flamboyant engineer in Melilla, with a pushy personality, his dream is to build the tallest building in the region. After his girlfriend leaves him, he devotes himself to his ambitions, deciding to let nothing get in his way, he marries the daughter of a billionaire, intending to use her father's money to realise his project. Benito waltzes his way through a career of excess and deceptions, but the personal conflicts he unleashes send his life spiraling down to disaster; the film makes direct and symbolic references to the work of Spanish Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. Huevos de oro on IMDb Golden Balls at Rotten Tomatoes Huevos de oro at AllMovie