Juana la Loca… de vez en cuando (1983)

The second time that director Jose Ramon Larraz would work with writer Juan Jose Alonso Millan — The National Mummy is their other work together — this movie is a parody of the life of Juana I of Castile, the woman who will one day become the Queen of Spain.

The Catholic monarchs in charge are worried about the brutal Torquemada’s obsessive need to prosecute and torture everyone. It’s within this world that Larraz and Millan attempt to tell a comedic tale.

Based on The Madness of Love by Manuel Tamayo Y Baus, this tells how Juana went from a passionate young woman to Joanna the Mad, a woman who was both the Queen of Castile and Aragon yet kept confined.

She was married by arrangement to Philip the Handsome, Archduke of Austria of the House of Habsburg, and gained power as every member of her family died, other than King Ferdinand II of Aragon, who proclaimed himself Governor and Administrator of Castile, then King after Phillip died in 1506.

Despite being the ruling queen, Joanna was declared insane and confined in the Royal Convent of Santa Clara in Tordesillas by order of her father, who ruled for a decade and then her son took over as she remained hidden from the world.

Was her insanity because she discovered that the love of her life, Phillip, was cheating on her. She may have had melancholia or inherited schizophrenia. Or perhaps this highly intelligent woman was used by her husband and father.

Anyways, somehow Larraz was picked to direct this and well, he is used to making sex comedies by this point in his career. I’m not one to understand the intricacies of Spanish history and the humor that arises from it. I prefer when Larraz makes movies with haunted women confronting the evil within themselves.

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