The porcelain perfection of Catherine Deneuve hides a cracked interior in the actress’s most iconic role: Séverine, a chilly Paris housewife by night, a bordello prostitute by day. This surreal and erotic late-sixties daydream from provocateur for the ages Luis Buñuel is an examination of desire and fetishistic pleasure (its characters’ and its viewers’), as well as a gently absurdist take on contemporary social mores and class divisions. Fantasy and reality commingle in this burst of cinematic transgression, which was one of Buñuel’s biggest hits. —The Criterion Collection
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
Crudele analisi sugli scheletri che l'alta borghesia tiene nascosti nell'armadio. Molto dura l'amoralità rappresentata,con trame surrealiste degne del miglior Bunuel avanguardista.L'eterno conflitto tra pubblico e privato qui viene trattato con una sgradevolezza evidente e nauseante.Tante le scene degne di nota,con una Deneuve perfetta nella sua algida e glaciale bellezza,che esplode nei suoi sogni"bondage". 4*
Polanski's Repulsion ending was more of a surprising missing element to justify the act, but here is more of shift & conversion, extremely fatal but yet cynical again from Bunuel, Séverine now is relieved from her fears towards Pierre, It took her to be prostitute to learn that, The ending is a cynical hint of the very beginning dream sequence, first as the carriage sound, later the picture, extremely evident ending.
The issue features a dossier on Orson Welles. Also: Remembering Doe Avedon.
I love Love LOVE LOVE Belle de Jour! Haters, be damned. I know this is viewed by lots as minor Buñuel, but this film actually erased or clarified my previous qualms about his signature symbolism and… read review
French language director Luis Buñuel is a master at cinematic surrealism. After seeing his masterpiece Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie in film history class during college, I had been intrigued… read review