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Sunday, April 20

THE SEX OF THE ANGELS (2012)

Love, it is often said, is forever. And while that much-quoted truism is taken as a given in director Xavier Villaverde’s film El Sexo de Los Angeles (translated as The Sex of the Angels on the official Mardi Gras program or slightly less literally as Angels of Sex on the trailer), what is not regarded as a gospel truth is the form that this everlasting love will take. At the start of the movie, university students Bruno (Llorenç González) and Carla (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), who have been together since they were 15 and remain deeply in love, are in a conventional relationship with very strong views on fidelity and the importance of forsaking all others to ensure the sanctity of the relationship is preserved. So far so conventional, and at this juncture, neither party sees anything wrong with this arrangement. After all, when you love someone that’s what you do right? Indeed, Bruno when challenged at one point about whether he would consider straying from the conventions of monogamy, immediately rejects the notion, making it quite clear that if there are no limits on the relationship, and either party is free to sleep with whomever they like, then you cease to be a true partner and are “just another person”. And then comes martial art instructor and talented breakdancer Rai (Alvaro Cervantes). When he enters first Bruno’s and then Carla’s life, he turns all these well-honed, deeply-entrenched and rarely thought-out notions on their head so comprehensively that the couple is forced to re-assess, and quickly, what their relationship means to them and what they will or won’t do within its boundaries. Rai, for his part, is a man who fears commitment and loves the theatre and spectacle of the chase – as his friend Maria (Julieta Morocco) observes knowingly at one point, he loses interest once the seduction is over – all of which he readily admits, is also shocked to discover that rather than wanting to run once things get too intimate for his liking (although run at one point he does till Bruno and Carla together race to retrieve him), that he wants to somehow, against all the odds, and all of society’s coupling norms, form an ongoing relationship with both of them.

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