Jaime Chávarri's "El desencanto": Screening and Q&A

Screening presented by LA OLA and the Los Angeles Review of Books with the support of Aaron Shulman and Now Instant Image Hall.

Special one-time screening of the 1976 Spanish documentary El Desencanto (The Disenchantment), directed by Jaime Chávarri. A cult classic in Spain on a par with Grey Gardens, El Desencanto tells the story of the Paneros, a brilliant and tormented literary family whose eccentricities and transgressive exhibitionism turned them into a phenomenon in Spain the year after dictator Francisco Franco died. As they drink and smoke and argue, talking about everything from drug use to suicide, the members of the family deconstruct the myths of their history in order to craft a new collective narrative. (Think The Royal Tenenbaums, except the people are real.)

Aaron Shulman, author of the first book about the Panero family in English, titled The Age of Disenchantments: The Epic Story of Spain’s Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War, will introduce the film and he and LA OLA Director Rocío Mesa will do a Q&A afterwards.

Screening Program:

El desencanto (The Disenchantment), Jaime Chávarri, 1976, 1h 37 min

Guest Speaker: Aaron Shulman (Q&A with LA OLA Director Rocío Mesa)

Tickets: $10 General / $5 Members of the Los Angeles Review of Books

LARB members, present your Reckless Reader card for discounted entry

Now Instant Image Hall
5319 York Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Lisa Locascio at Chevalier's Books

FREE event

Wednesday, July 24 at 7pm

Chevalier’s Books
126 N. Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004

A coming-of-age like no other, from a magnetic new voice in fiction, Open Me is a daringly original and darkly compelling portrait of a young woman discovering her power, her sex, and her voice; and a propulsive exploration of estrangement and what it means to belong.

Roxana Olsen has always dreamed of going to Paris, and after high school graduation finally plans to travel there on a study abroad program ― a welcome reprieve from the bruising fallout of her parents’ divorce. But a logistical mix-up brings Roxana to Copenhagen instead, where she’s picked up at the airport by Søren, a twenty-eight year old guide who is meant to be her steward.  Instantly drawn to one another, Roxana and Søren’s relationship turns romantic, and when he asks Roxana to accompany him to a small coastal town for the rest of the summer, she doesn’t hesitate to accept. There, Roxana’s world narrows and expands as she experiences fantasy, ritual, and the pleasures of her body, a thrilling realm of erotic and domestic bliss. Seduced by this newfound connection, Roxana doesn’t object when Søren requests that she spend her days alone in the apartment while he goes to the library to work. 

As their relationship deepens, Søren’s temperament darkens, and Roxana finds herself increasingly drawn to a local outsider, Zlatan, whom she learns is a Muslim refugee from the Bosnian War. The cycle of awakenings sparked by these two relationships challenge and open Roxana in ways she never imagined.

“Locascio’s story of a young American abroad is unflinching in its portrayal of sex, desire, racism, and the excitement and confusion of youth. Infused with erotics and politics, this is a novel that will haunt you.”

— Viet Thanh Nguyen,
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

Lisa Locascio’s novel Open Me was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, one of O Magazine’s “Ten Titles To Pick Up Now,” and was named one of the most anticipated novels of August 2018 by magazines including Elle, The Village Voice, Bustle, and Refinery29. In its review, The New Yorker wrote of Open Me: “Locascio captures, frankly but lyrically, the heroine’s intense hunger to master her own body and the new world around her.”

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