LAS CHICAS DEL TANGA (1983)
This is a wonderfully droll, multi-story mosaic, done in the signature style of Jess Franco at his most satiric and ironic. The subject is the tourist city of Benidorm, Spain. A group of tourists arrive and interact with some of the locals in amusing, touching and curious ways. One of Jess Franco’s love-hate letters to the city which he obviously finds crass and tastelessly designed. The city is cubism gone Las Vegas, a le courbusier nightmare. At least as photographed by Jess Franco.
It also illustrates how he uses his camera, music, montage and stock company for expressing his personal feelings about Spanish culture. Very mixed feelings. He finds it exuberant, rude and funny. Antonio Mayans, also the production manager, his wife and children play key roles in the film. IN a way, this film reminds me of Robert Altman’s Country & Western music epic, NASHVILLE (1975), only done on a no-budget scale and shot in a few days. The overall multi-story structure, the equal focus on many characters instead of one or two, the cynical tone, the aesthetics are very similar. A group portrait of numerous individuals intersecting in a certain place at a certain time, with bittersweet results.
Below is a translation by Nzoog from the opening narration:
Below: The cinematographer (Juan Soler Cozar) and the production manager (Antonio Mayans) share a moment at a sidewalk cafe below the bizarre architecture of Benidorm. The shady capital of Costa Del Sol tourism is a favorite site for cultural/aesthetic ridicule from Jess Franco.
The tourist towers of Benidorm are a Le Corbusier nightmare.
The cinematographer of the film plays a photographer who snaps shots of the rude architecture of Benidorm.