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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 nature, despite his socialistic views about business and religion. But Don Lope's one weakness is women, and he falls for the innocent girl in his charge, seduces her, makes her his lover, though all the while explaining to her that she is as free as he. But when she acts on this freedom, Don Lope must deal with the consequences of his world-view.Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film met with inflexible opposition from censors in Spain's Franco government. Director Luis Buñuel pushed hard for the film's production in 1962, but Francisco Franco's autocratic and pro-Catholic regime objected to the film's subject matter, which they found subversive to the regime. Tristana's seduction and corruption, and Don Lope's dismissive and irreligious rants against the church proved to be insurmountable obstacles to production in the censors' eyes. Buñuel's recent Spanish-produced film Viridiana (1961) had also made the government wary of the director's activities; the film was intended to be the Buñuel's triumphant return to his native land, but it too had proven too subversive for the Franco regime and was almost immediately banned in the country. It took eight more years for the director to convince the censors to let him make this film. See more »
Where are you going?
On a night like this, you're leaving me on my own?
Really! It's incredible that you still have those illusions at your age.
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Originally released in Europe at 105 minutes. See more »
Luis Buñuel had a mastery of screen technique attained by very few directors. Confronted by the script of Tristana, what contemporary director would know where to start?
Buñuel's attention to detail is extraordinary. Every scene is packed with visual interest. In some strange way, the decor forms an essential part of the structure; it is a facet of Buñuel's unique vision. Moreover, he not only knows exactly when to end a sequence, but how to end it. For instance, when Don Lope (Rey) puts down the dog and walks away, the camera follows not him but the dog: an endearing and brilliant touch, and there are many more. Compelling throughout, even spellbinding.
If this film were a framed picture hanging in a gallery, thousands would come to see it and Buñuel would be acclaimed as a great artist. He was a great artist, in fact, but the cinema is an ephemeral form and people forget. We need to buy the videos and watch these fine movies from time to time, just to remind ourselves that a film can be a significant art form and not merely a commercial product cynically synthesised to extract the largest amount of money from the greatest number of people.
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