This film caused me physical pain, because this same story has been told all throughout history and in many cases, the woman ended in a grave. I would've given it five stars had Francisco murdered Gloria and gotten away with it, just like the reality of many.
As usual, Bunuel explores the most irrational side of human nature. The protagonist, Francisco, is a respected man who marries a beautiful young woman but is dominated by the idea that she might be cheating on him. His gentle manners hide the fact that he's a selfish, self-centered man who's capable of the most atrocious actions. It's a very powerful drama, although the ending isn't particulary satisfying.
Retrato sobre un individuo de aires de superioridad. Ver al magnate desde un campanario reduciendo a la humanidad mediante un desprecio natural, lo convierte en algo más que un misógino o un misántropo. Hay sin embargo esa bipolaridad de la careta, o es tal vez simple estrategia para manipular a su antojo a los que le rodean. Pero hay más, es también un obsesivo y fetichista. Los pies y armas punzantes lo delatan.
I fell in love since the very first frame. The church and the organ music, the shot with the women's feet, those close-ups of the beautiful Gloria. As time went by i was more and more in love with all of it. Certainly one of Buñuel's most obsessive and well achieved efforts, almost schizophrenic in some way.
The montage places him next to catholicism and his upper class it transplants repression with his own strange passion that in order for this man to manipulate his estranged lover first he must manipulate his own soul. He cages his love. He is no longer the man he was and further apart from the man he is supposed to be he looses touch with his identity he looses a way to look at himself.
HE waits decades to cross paths with his perfect woman. It is total love, at a glance. Poe described this, when writing about love at first sight, as "electric sympathy." Men, maybe, are more wired up for this unnerving but exhilarating experience. Despite its close proximity to obsession, there is a certainty here that can't be denied. SHE, though, may have slowly increasing doubts. This is THE case study. Sublime.
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.
The narrative structure is uneven. The begging is somewhat slow, considering how fast the rest of the film moves. Even though we quickly catch up, the ellipses in time are jarring. Aside from that, the performances and script are strong. Buñuel's direction is powerful, and we see some elements that recur in his later films. Figueroa's photography is a standout. Overall, it is a great film from his Mexican oeuvre.
One of Buñuel's best. The cinematography was brilliant, Arturo de Cordova gave a phenomenal performance, and the decors of Fransico's home were some of the most interesting I've ever seen. I can definitely see this film having a huge influence on Hitchcock, since Buñuel essentially spends the whole film outdoing him.
One of my absolute favorite Bunuel films. A chilling and cheeky satire of the noble patriarch undone by his own petty jealousy and self-righteousness. What strikes me now, months after having seen the film is how voyeruistic it is. The camera is the male gaze taken to the extreme. And the cinematography and set design are beyond perfect. No wonder Hitchcock loved it, Vertigo definitely has echoes of El.