At least sixty years ahead of its time. This collection of surreal scenes satirising every possible social value you can think of and revelling in anything considered by the aristocrats to be vulgar was made with a delicious sense for black comedy, a taste for which would not become socially acceptable for sixty years. This movie caused riots on its first release in 1930, and was banned for forty years. If you see this on the program to be shown at an art gallery near you, like i did, you won't regret seeing it. Think of it as Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel sticking their finger up at everything everyone else takes seriously, and laughing at their being offended. Seventy years later, the art gallery audience i was with were laughing along with Bunuel and Dali. This is about the most modern feeling thing you'll see from early cinema. I'll give you a sample: a couple are such nymphomaniacs, whenever they see each other, they can't stop from leaping on each other and writhing on the ground together. At one point in the movie, they are kissing, and all of a sudden he sees the foot of a statue behind her and is distracted by its beauty. He becomes dazed and zoned on the foot. She pulls away from him, tries to talk to him, he holds his hand up to her face as if to say: "hang on, just give me a minute." Then he feels compelled to leave her. Left on her own, mourning her momentary separation from her lustful partner, she begins sucking on the toes of the statue, as she was sucking on the fingers of her love a few scenes before. Camera cuts to a close-up of the statue's face, as if to check its reaction. The entire audience broke up at this. It was all too much. An absolute riot which can only be appreciated today as taking the p*ss out of every form of conservatism you can imagine.
WARNING= it is at times disturbing. If you are at all feint-hearted, and can not separate movies from reality, especially surrealist movies from reality, then stay away.