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.
Caridad de Laberdesque
After a lavish dinner party, the guests find themselves mysteriously unable to leave the room... and over the next few days all the elaborate pretenses and facades that they've built up by virtue of their position in society collapse completely as they become reduced to living like animals...Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
Out of all the films in Luis Buñuel's Mexican/Spanish film period, this is the only film he had complete creative control over. See more »
After one of the women exits an adjoining room, she seemingly details a surrealist toilet experience to the other women, upon which they detail theirs. If the adjoining room is truly a bathroom (which would make sense since there is no indication in the film of any hygiene problems related to urination or defecation), it should have been explained why the characters could not simply drink the water from the wash basin there and instead had to resort to breaking a pipe. See more »
still one of the top comedies about utter frustration
The Exterminating Angel, what a movie- I've seen it twice now and each time it went against (in the best possible way) my better logic. It's a work that's the product of a kind of madman place, and it stays impressive forty plus years later due to its humor. Like Dr. Strangelove, or maybe more so akin to a Kafka work submerged in Catholic plague, the film subverts expectations. At the start of the film, Luis Bunuel makes it clear as day that his only explanation is that its nonsense. If one were wanting to dig on a pure comedy level it would work because the dialog is so strange and out of place (if taken seriously) but consistently so, and the timing of the sort of downward spiral that plunges into the denouement (if there is one). If one were wanting to look at it for more of the technical reasons, its peerless- Bunuel has a steady, carefully controlled camera, quite tradition at times. But then at others he reveals his revealing, awesome flashes of symbolism, which may or may not fly over some viewers heads.
And then, if one were to go so far, on an existential level it goes into the realm of nothingness, a kind of study of how a nonsensical existence, trapped for reasons not made clear to the viewer (barely to the rich cast of bourgeois, a running gag almost), which also calls in the Kafka aspect. By the hand of a surrealist comes a deadpan satire, and it almost becomes a dark fable (the Catholic aspect to the film) by the end. It's a rather shocking film on the first try, which is why it probably had some controversy when it first opened. Giving it another chance, the film works better, on a more sensory level almost. This is the kind of film where you're either scratching your head and turning it off midway through, or laughing (while in the grips of cringing perhaps) and in a weird awe. One of Bunuel's very best Mexican films.
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