Just after boarding a train, much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, a man pours a bucket of water over a young girl on the platform. Over the next few hours he explains (and we see in flashback) how he became obsessed by her (so much so that he failed to notice that she was played by two different actresses, representing different sides of her personality), and how she tantalised him, but would never allow him to satisfy his desire for her...Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #143. See more »
Mathieu enters the room where Conchita dances nude, throws the leftmost table to the right, and chases out all the men. The remaining table and chairs on the left are standing upright. After they talk for two minutes the camera returns to the area with the tables, where that same table and chairs lean against the wall in disarray. See more »
Few other directors would dare to equate the male libido with international terrorism, but the final feature by master surrealist Luis Buñuel is a dark comic web of sexual obsession (too dark to be truly funny) set against a background of random explosions and political assassinations. The always dapper Fernando Rey stars as a wealthy gentleman who develops an all-consuming infatuation for his young Spanish maid, who by turns tempts him, teases him, refuses him, and finally humiliates him. All Rey wants is to carry his passion to its logical conclusion, but her (deliberately?) unpredictable shifts in mood, from coy temptation to spiteful rejection, leave him in a state of dangerous frustration. Buñuel applies his usual sly wit to the otherwise cynical and pessimistic scenario (one man affectionately refers to women as "sacks of excrement"), going so far as to cast two completely different actresses in the title role and interchanging them at random. The film is at once perverse and disturbing, providing a suitably mordant swan song to a long and distinguished career in movie iconoclasm.
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