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El ángel exterminador
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The Exterminating Angel More at IMDbPro »El ángel exterminador (original title)

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

El Ángel Exterminador - 1962 *2/1953

Author: Jaime Grijalba from Santiago, Chile
15 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Directed by: Luis Buñuel

Written by: Luis Buñuel and Luis Alcoriza

This is fiction, it may be never happened.

Luis Buñuel heard from a friend, the writer José Bergamin, that he was going to write a play named "El Ángel Exterminador" ('The Exterminating Angel') Buñuel already had an idea for a movie, it was in 1940 at New York when he had it, an idea for a movie about the type of people that he always considered mean and greedy, the rich, a movie about their ambivalence and lies. When he heard the title he felt attracted to it immediately, he felt that his movie should have that title. The script that he and Alcoriza had written had the name: "Los Naufragos de la Calle Providencia" ('The Outcasts of Providence Street') When he was about to begin filming he asked José if he had written the play, when he said no Buñuel sent him a letter asking for the rights, but José answered that there was no need, because the title came from the Book of Revelations. Luis Buñuel had always been attracted by repetition, repetition and black humor, surrealism was an influence in that kind of likes. He shot the same scene from two different angles (the scene of the arriving of the aristocrats after the night at the Opera) and put both shots one after the other. He also repeated some dialogs and cheers, all with a sense of confusion. The major point of the movie was that when all the servants, except for the butler, leave the mansion (like rats leaving a sinking boat) and when the guests stay in a room to hear one of them playing the piano, they can't get out of the room, that's when hell breaks out. People die, people get sick and people begin to get irritable, they fight each other... When Luis Buñuel thought about the title he always thought of an under-theme explanation, but years after he thought of it and discovered that the Exterminating Angel came to kill the people in sin, as the people who are in that room, condemned by their sins, forgiven but always damned.

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