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
The sequence where the characters put on the play might be my favorite in any of his films, the play's production values are easy to laugh at but Bunuel makes this segment incredibly human and intimate where fake birds on strings have more significance than a statue of Christ. The streetcar as a device that intercepts all these little conflicts, brings the harmonious description in the v/o to life . Underrated.
Once again Bunuel looks at something infallible and laughs in its face, how a drunken night on a streetcar can tear through a nations fabric. For the betterment of our humanity he was the sharpest of them all. But the importance of sentimentality in this film, the only feelings personally I can find a kinship with is in A Christmas Carol as far as this works impact. I already want to see it again. I really wish Criterion would do a Bunuel in Mexico eclipse series I find it really surprising these films remain unnoticed.
The same idea behind Subida al Cielo, which I think is stronger, but overall very fun and genuine. I like the idea that Buñuel as a foreigner fell in love with the city enough to make a film about it. Even if the film lovingly portrays the city, it is still sober enough to point out some issues, however subtly. I like the jabs at the U.S., religion, and upper class. The city without the working class is not the same.