As unusual, eccentric, and bizarre vignettes of mundane and seemingly innocuous conventions of our social and private lives success one another, somehow, Napoléon Bonaparte's troops, earthly monks, dangerous snipers, and the peculiar disappearance of a beloved one metamorphose into banal instances of our daily existence. With this in mind, under those surreal circumstances, the abnormal becomes normal, the obvious transforms into something unclear or even invisible, and the extraordinary transfigures into ordinary. But, are things always black and white? How real is the haunting spectre of liberty?Written by
The title is a reference to "The Communist Manifesto" which in English begins: "A spectre is stalking Europe, the spectre of Communism." The French translation known to Buñuel translated "spectre" as "fantome". So the title can be seen as a dig at the "Bourgeois" mentality which fears freedom, and also a sideswipe at the rather straightjacketed Communist parties of the time. See more »
At the beginning of the movie after shooting the prisoners you can see one of the victims moving the hand although he's dead. See more »
Carnaval, opus 9, movement number 12 - Chopin
Written by Robert Schumann
Played on the piano by the sister of the police commissioner See more »
I have little appreciation for Bunuel, I admit.
He is an amazing filmmaker, with a consistency and control that impresses. The integration of unexpected shifts — sometimes cinematic, and self-described as "surreal" are the foundation for films that matter to me. It is just that I feel his concerns are trivial, that the focus on a critique of society with the critique being as flawed, as superficial.
There is one quality of this film in particular that I would like to recommend: the seamless continuity across many episodes and characters. I don't know if it originated with him, but it is now widely used to escape the constraints of a single character and give us larger long form.
It allows humor and puzzlement to be spread as comment.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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