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Luis Bunuel

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#1 yukiyuki



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Posted 31 August 2005 - 09:25 AM

hai guys, i wonder why there is no thread about this guy (or am i wrong?)
i think it's interesting to talk about Bunuel in this kind of "forum".

what i think about his movie and style are:
- he often attacks the Christian belief especially the church people, i want to see what r your opinions about this thing.

- his surreal style is different with Fellini,Fellini is about visualization, but Bunuel is about the character's habit, their manners, or what they do on the screen.

- I love his movie's pace, his movies are not as slow as other acclaimed directors like Ozu or Fellini.

- And it seems his movies are well observed even they don't deal with common themes, I agree with what Ebert said about Belle De Jour "That's because it understands eroticism from the inside-out--understands how it exists not in sweat and skin, but in the imagination."

your comments pls

PS:this is coming from a guy coming from a non-english languaged country and am not a christian, so forgive if there are any incorrect words or incorrect thoughts, thx

#2 MattPage


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Posted 31 August 2005 - 09:46 AM

Thanks for posting this, I've been wondering about getting into some Bunel recently as his name has kept cropping up, but he's hard to get hold of though! So I'd be interested in reading people's views on him.


#3 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:41 AM

I've seen Belle de Jour at least three times -- always on the big screen -- and loved it every time. You can read the review I wrote for the student paper on page 5 of this PDF file, though I must say I was only 24 then, and very new to the film-reviewing game, and a little too in love with my thesaurus.

#4 SDG


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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:02 PM

My review of Nazarin. The most remarkable anti-faith polemic (to oversimplify a bit) I've ever seen.

Edited by SDG, 31 August 2005 - 12:03 PM.

#5 Sara



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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:35 PM

I love Bunuel's films!

I have seen :
Un Chien Andalou
L'Age d'or
Belle de jour
The Discreet Charm of the Boureoisie
The Obscure Object of Desire
The Phantom of Liberty

Un Chien Andalou is tied in with Salvidore Dali and surrealism.
Perhaps so is L'Age d'or and I loved it. (So much so that I bought a little book on the film!)
But my favorite was The Phantom of Liberty. Funny - surreal - satirical - beautifully edited so that one scene flows into the next with only a thread in common with the last scene.

You have to see the "dining room/ bathroom" scene to believe it!

It is late Bunuel - I think one of his last 3 films.

Get it and enjoy. Don't try to make a lot of sense out of it. Just sit back and enjoy and laugh.

(A few months ago Turner Classic Movies showed Los olvidados, Nazarin, Viridiana, El angel exterminador, Simon del desierto. I taped them all!!!!! But have not yet had time to see them.)

I know some would not call Bunuel's films "spiritually significant." But in some deep spot in my psyche, he touches me.


#6 yukiyuki



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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:59 AM

QUOTE(Peter T Chattaway @ Aug 31 2005, 10:41 PM)
I've seen Belle de Jour at least three times -- always on the big screen -- and loved it every time.  You can read the review I wrote for the student paper on page 5 of this PDF file, though I must say I was only 24 then, and very new to the film-reviewing game, and a little too in love with my thesaurus.

View Post

seen it once, and love it very much but pity on my small tv

#7 Persona


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Posted 03 September 2005 - 12:56 AM

Earlier this year I saw both Un Chien Andalou ('29) and L'Age d'or ('30) and thought they were wonderful surrealist films. From the two I've seen, I enjoyed Un Chien Andalou more. It is a highly artistic masterpiece, with a beginning and an ending that are equally as riveting. The opening scene in particular is credited with ushering in a new era of filmmaking (even a quick glance at IMDB confirms this), and with Dali and Buńuel working side by side it's little wonder the structure was so severly broken down.

If the films of Buńuel are credited with putting the reigns squarely in the director's hands, I don't honestly know how we can call them "non-Christian." I would hope that one of the causes of Christ is that of Freedom, and I would hope that artistic freedom of any creative kind, whether credited to God or not, is still on loan from Creation itself.

Is he attacking the Christian belief, or the religion that carries the Christian belief? If he is attacking the Christian belief then I am probably guilty of the same thing -- I have done this on a daily basis for years. But the word "attack" is the problem. Maybe instead we should use words like "Seeking a dialogue."

Does he desire something better from the church? From the ending frames of L'Age d'or our assumption is that Yes, he does. And I do too. So maybe where I meet him is in the similarities we share -- that we each long for something better, the difference being that Buńuel would probably concentrate heavier on finding imagery that portrays what is wrong, and I would rather look to correct the wrong than dwell on it.

But The Lynchian imagery is unstoppable no matter how you cut the philosophy. The shorter Un Chien Andalou, with the shocking opening and the grim finale in the sands of time, is such a hardcore film that begs for attention. It's like the bad little boy who yells, "Look at me! Look at me!" and when he forces your attention, he does something absolutely bizarre.

L'Age d'or felt a bit too long for me in this style, but I'm glad I stuck with it so that I could see into Buńuel's need to creep out the more religiously inclined.

I like his earlier films, and I'm certainly interested in seeing more.


Edited by stef, 03 September 2005 - 01:02 AM.

#8 Darrel Manson

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 09:50 PM

Not Bunuel, (and not Deneuve) but there is a sequel to Belle du jour that will be playing at Palm Springs.

Belle Toujours
Portugal, 2006, 70 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: France
Language: French English Sub-Titles
DIRECTOR: Manoel de Oliveira

Thirty-eight years after Buńuel’s Belle du jour, Henri and Séverine meet again by chance in an elegant concert hall in Paris. The two have obviously changed, yet Henri seems content to dwell in their perverse past. De Olveira’s elegant style and cunning narrative manages to create a tense, melancholic, mysterious and malicious work of art.

#9 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 11:23 PM

FWIW, my blog post on a minor detail in The Milky Way (1969), a film that is just FULL of interesting theological stuff.

#10 Darren H

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:05 PM

I've been watching a couple Bunuel films a week since the start of the year, and he's quickly climbing my list of all-time favorites. I've been unintentionally burning through his filmography from both ends, rewatching the later, more famous films on Netflix Instant and Hulu while also renting whatever films from his earlier career that I can get my hands on. What I'm finding is that, at this stage in life, at least, I prefer the earlier films, when he's working in classic film genres.

This morning I was completely blown away by Death in the Garden (1956), which begins as a "stranger comes to town and leads the people in a rebellion against authorities" type before changing, 30 minutes in, into a "rag-tag group fighting for survival in nature" movie. Especially after reading his wonderful memoir, My Last Sigh, I've put Bunuel into my personal pantheon of religious filmmakers, in that he's deeply, obsessively concerned with man's place in the world. Having grown up in Spain with a typical (if slightly unorthodox) Catholic education, he knows the Bible and takes it at its word, even if, as an atheist, he doesn't put much stock in its transcendent power.

Death in the Garden is a 90-minute, action-packed, carnal, and dire study of guilt and innocence. It's all suffused with Bunuel's cynicism and sense of the absurd, but it's also deeply serious about wanting to understand one bedrock of Christian faith: that we're all fallen and that "the rain falls on the good and the bad." At first, I thought Bunuel was setting up Michel Piccoli's young missionary as a punching bag, but, ultimately, he (the missionary) acts in good faith, and Bunuel forces us to wrestle with the consequences of his actions, which reveal him to be either naive or a Christ-like servant.

Anyway, that's a round-about way of saying that I highly recommend this film. ;)

#11 kenmorefield



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Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:40 PM

Here's a post I did awhile back about Bunuel in general, but mostly filtered through Viridiana:

I once said of Alan Ball that I thought the modus operandi of his films was to paint someone or something as ridiculous until the audience sneered and then scold it for being so intolerant, followed by painting something else as good or decent or admirable until the audience cheered, then mock it for being so gullible and naive. Perhaps that is a root cause of my ambivalence about Buñuel’s: I can’t figure out how to get myself to an appropriate response, because I can’t exactly fathom what an appropriate response would be. Should I like Viridiana, Nazarin, and Simon and feel contempt for the world around them that needs to cut them down and destroy them? Or should I celebrate their demises, physical and spiritual, as the defeat of one more imperfect person that had the chutzpah to try to be good? Should I think there is nothing to choose between them?

I guess (no I don’t guess, I know) there is technical skill at play in the precision and force (to borrow Sarris’s word) in the way Buñuel can twist the knife like nobody else. I’ve just never finished a screening of one of his films happier to be alive than when I started.