Although regarded as the greatest artist of Spanish cinema Luis Buñuel only made three films that are Spanish by nationality. His exile from his homeland at the end of the Spanish Civil War resulted in extended periods in Mexico and France. Despite this displacement, Spain was never far from Buñuel’s mind. The peasant culture of the villages of Calanda and Zaragoza, many of them dating to the Middle-Ages, greatly influenced his imagination during his childhood. The Spanish literary tradition, represented by Lope de Vega, Cervantes and the writers of picaresque stories, remained constant touchstones. Strongest of all was the distinctly Spanish nature of his Catholicism; he would retain its influence long after he renounced the teachings of the Church. At the University of Madrid his friendship with poet Federico Garcia Lorca and painter Salvador Dalí would play a major role in the avant-garde of the 1920s. It was during this period that he discovered the works of Sigmund Freud. His insight… read more
"In his hands, time, space and social convention became meaningless constructs and cinema an arena of wild possibility."
The biggest mistake, I think, one can make while watching Mexican Buñuel is watching it with a European or Late Buñuel lens. Yes, it's true Buñuel had a strong sense of what was wrong with society, and that criticism is clear while watching his last films. But, watching these films without a Mexican lens leaves you nothing but plot. You can try to find his slurs against religion or government, but it would be stupid.