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2 items from 2009

The Exterminating Angel/Simon of the Desert

27 February 2009 7:18 AM, PST | Pastemagazine.com | See recent PasteMagazine news »

Release Date: Feb. 9

Director: Luis Buñuel

Writer: Buñuel; Buñuel and Luis Alejandro

Cinematographer: Gabriel Figueroa

Starring: Sylvia Pinal, Enrique Rambal; Pinal, Claudio Brook.

Studio/Run Time: The Criterion Collection, 93 mins., 45 mins.

Decades before Lost or even The Twilight Zone, director Luis Buñuel was creating hallucinatory experiences out of mundane reality, deranging the commonplace to sly, subversive effect. The peripatetic Spaniard invented surrealist cinema with his friend Salvador Dali in 1929, claiming a place in art history via the eyeball-slicing scandal of Un Chien Andalou. But the filmmaker drifted after that, failing to gain a foothold in either New York or Hollywood before finally establishing a middle-aged career shooting often melodramatic—and overlooked—commercial fare in Mexico. »

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Two From Buñuel, "W."

17 February 2009 10:41 AM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

Frankly delighted with human folly, and as fluent as a Symbolist poet with the effortlessly iconic image, Luis Buñuel may have been the greatest filmmaker of cinema's first century. Certainly, among the ten or 12 unassailable masters of the medium, he's the wittiest, the least sentimental, the most philosophically imaginative and formally the least self-conscious. At the same time, I'd imagine that many cinephiles on, say, the south side of 30 will wonder what the fuss is about -- where are the pyrotechnics, the daring rigor, the innovations, the elevation away from avant-gardish pulp and toward high art? Let's say this: that Buñuel is among the very few cinema giants you couldn't in your wildest dreams accuse of pretension (Renoir, Ozu and Bresson are the other three), that Buñuel's sense of irreverence remains a Swiftian glory of a kind too rarely acknowledged as "art," and that Bunuel's surgeon-like evaluation of »

- Michael Atkinson

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2 items from 2009

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