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>
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 »
Carlos Conde; Doctor:
The most important thing is to keep our heads. There's nothing worse than panic. This situation can't go on indefinitely. We're not under some spell. This isn't some sorcerer's castle. Only by dispassionate analysis can we get to the bottom of our inaction.
See more »
In the uncut print (featured on the Criterion DVD) the guests enter the mansion and go upstairs twice. Some versions omit the surrealistic second arrival. See more »
That was what Luis Bunuel used to answer when asked about the meaning of one of his least accessible works.Much less linear than "Viridiana" -featuring the same actress Silvia Pinal-which precedes it,"El Angel exterminador" can be looked upon as an allegory.We find a lot of permanent features of the Bunuel canon in it though.
The fact that the guests cannot leave the luxury house will find an equivalent in "le charme discret de la bourgeoisie"(1972) when the five characters cannot have a good meal at the restaurant;the guests turning like lions in a cage echo to this strange picture of the five heroes of "charme discret" walking on an endless road.
This is the kind of movie that will have as many interpretations as there are users writing about it.And Bunuel would probably be the first to say that anyone is allowed to see his movie as he feels it in his soul -which is a word he would not certainly approve of though.
Another put-down of the bourgeoisie ,probably;As Charlie Chaplin would not have let an ice-cream fall on a poor woman's dress,Bunuel's wholesale massacre concerns the rich,the well-to-do.The house may be a metaphor for their world which they want to keep exactly as it is.But Bunuel soon scratches the varnish and after long hours,his powerful bourgeois are just men and rather hateful selfish cowards -the scene when they rush to get a glass of water.And as they cannot rely on themselves and on their pals,the only assistance can only come from above:so they promise God they will chant Te Deums, they will go to Lourdes and buy a washable rubber Virgin (sic).Surrealist pictures,which had been absent since "cela s'appelle l'aurore" (1955) come back for a while during one night,and they mainly deal with religion and heaven.The mystery of the night hours will come back in "le fantôme de la liberté" (1974)
The last pictures bring the missing link :the army ,shooting people (talking about a revolution?) ,as the bourgeois keep on singing(?) and praying(?)in the cathedral.
Recommended?Everything Bunuel did is crying to be watched.
78 of 108 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this