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
From Buñuel's fertile period of activity in Mexico comes a supreme study of jealousy and possession which would make a tremendous double bill with Fassbinder's similarly themed masterpiece Martha. The film has narrative strength in abundance and the director deserves praise for his ability to give depth to the melodramatic storyline. A great achievement and a definite influence for a famous scene in Hitch's Vertigo..
The surrealism here lies in the malleability of humanity, for the bulk of the film Bunuel makes Fransisco out to be a complete buffoon (The comments about the architecture in his home being moody provide insight to both his mentality and how Bunuel utilizes him) But when the viewer finds themselves in Fransisco's head for one of Bunuel's most surreal gestures its a truly devastating experience. Masterpiece.