A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with each other, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.
A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.
An unstable young woman escapes from a reformatory for very, very wayward girls and deceptively finds shelter in the kind home of a frighteningly nice and decent family. Little by little, ... See full summary »
Víctor Manuel Mendoza
Bunuel's first feature has more of a plot than Un Chien Andalou (1929), but it's still a pure Surrealist film, so this is only a vague outline. A man and a woman are passionately in love with each other, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Quite difficult narrative-wise and perhaps not quite enough in other areas to make it stronger but still interesting
In the Tate Modern's "Dalí & Film" exhibition, the fourteen-odd rooms were mostly paintings but three or four had films of one kind or another. Having just seen Un Chien Andalou I decided to watch this one as well and was lucky to catch it just as it started. I say lucky because there is really nothing to tell you when these things are starting or ending. This is maybe OK with a short film that lasts seven minutes or a three minute clip from Spellbound but with a film that lasts an hour I really don't understand why the Tate didn't make at least a discrete effort to let us know start times maybe it is beneath them to act like a cinema but it does mean that people were constantly flowing in and out and the implication is that the films can be just dipped in and out of.
With this film though, you do need to be in from the start because, unlike Un Chien Andalou, there is more of a plot here and the film has fewer of Dalí's images across the running time. That said the plot here isn't any easier to follow if you did manage to catch it from the very start because this is still very much a surrealist film in structure and content even if it has fewer of the images that made the first film I'd seen so engaging. With Buñuel forming more of the film than Dalí, the film does take on more symbolism in less surreal ways but yet it is still quite hard to follow. To me as a viewer this was a bit of a downside because there was less to stimulate me and more to frustrate me as I struggle to understand the meaning of what I was watching.
Despite this I still did find it interesting and you can see why (to a point) that the screening did draw a reaction from those that saw it as attacking conservative values in its depiction of violent attacks etc. Quite why it was hardly screened for fifty years though, I can't say. With a difficult plot to follow and an hour to watch, the film asked a lot of me and I'm afraid I wasn't really up to the challenge and I did struggle to follow along. The scattering of surrealist imagery did help to hold my attention though and it is not without value just a lot harder to watch than I would have liked it to have been.
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