One of Luis Bunuel's most free-form and purely Surrealist films, consisting of a series of only vaguely related episodes - most famously, the dinner party scene where people sit on ... See full summary »
Just after boarding a train, much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, a man pours a bucket of water over a young girl on the platform. Over the next few hours he explains (and we see ... See full summary »
In a dream-like sequence, a woman's eye is slit open--juxtaposed with a similarly shaped cloud obsucuring the moon moving in the same direction as the knife through the eye--to grab the ... See full summary »
When the young woman Tristana's mother dies, she is entrusted to the guardianship of the well-respected though old Don Lope. Don Lope is well-liked and well-known because of his honorable ... See full summary »
A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted, by their families, the Church and bourgeois society.
Caridad de Laberdesque
Celestine, the chambermaid, has new job on the country. The Monteils, who she works for are a group of strange people. The wife is frigid, her husband is always hunting (both animals and ... See full summary »
Several bourgeois friends planning to get together for dinner experience a succession of highly unusual occurrences that interfere with their expected dining enjoyment. Written by
Ed Cannon <email@example.com>
In his autobiography, _My Last Sigh_, Luis Buñuel said he had difficulty finding a title for the film. On the last day of writing the script, he came up with _A bas Lénine, ou la Vierge à l'écurie_ - Down with Lenin, or The Virgin in the Manger. Someone suggested _Le Charme de la Bourgeoisie_, and the adjective "discret" was eventually added. Buñuel said he and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière never once thought of the word "bourgeoisie" while working on the screenplay. See more »
After sending the terrorist out of his apartment, Rafael's position in the windows changes between shots. See more »
Finally, if you think about it, the only solution to starvation and poverty is in the hands of the army. You'll realize it in Miranda, when you have to open your pretty thighs to an infantry battalion.
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Director Luis Bunuel is often described as a surrealist, but the word misapplied in reference to his later works, where the the term absurdism is much more appropriate. Such is the case with the Academy Award-winning THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE, which begins with four friends who arrive at their hosts' home only to discover they have arrived on the wrong night--a plausible situation. But before the film has run its course, Bunuel unravels his tale of a meal that never quite happens in the most unexpected ways imaginable.
The film works on several levels, mocking social conventions, the church, and eventually spilling its action into a series of overlapping nightmares in which various attempts to dine are frustrated by everything from the corpse of a restaurant manager in a nearby room to military maneuvers. On one memorable occasion, the friends are invited to dine and are seated around an elegant table--when a curtain suddenly rises behind them and reveals them to be seated on a stage before a hostile audience! The cast (which features Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier, Stephane Audran and Jean-Pierre Cassel as the constantly frustrated diners) plays with considerable aplomb, performing the most irrational scenes with a magnificent realism. When combined with Bunuel's absurdist story, the result is a disquieting yet often very funny discourse on frustrated appetites both real and imagined, and with many layers of incidental meaning along the way.
A word of caution to the uninitiated: Bunuel is not for those who seek a tidy plot line with clear-cut meanings. But if you come to it with an open mind, you'll find plenty of food for thought!
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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