Wild final moments from a titan of cinema, having two actresses play one character, the oddly hilarious moments throughout, etc. This is a really fun Bunuel film, which can't really be said by a lot of his more challenging work. I would put it just after Belle Du Jour and Chambermaid in my personal favs. 4.5 stars
To the reviewer who felt that this wasn’t such a big deal because it’s a faithful adaptation of Louÿs’ novel: if only successful and satisfying adaptations were that easy to produce! It would have been interesting if mubi had thought to provide the other adaptation, The Devil is a Woman, for comparison. Buñuel’s film is a work of maturity: pared to the essentials, leaving you to arrive at your own interpretation.
3-4. I'm really torn, because, as is characteristic of Bunuel, this flick is mostly about political evocation. It takes a while for actual conflict to build between the two leads, but the game played wherein flamenco-dancing existentialist switches with pure-hearted madonna and back, as a man naive about his own lust and power pursues her is fascinating. It feels like a true dilution of Bunuel's politics, too.
What we want most of all are the things we cannot have. Bunuel’s film expresses the tension created by what we project of ourselves upon the world and upon others as we seek completion externally. The eroticism and frustration played out against a background of rising social violence illustrates the ultimate futility of a society based upon endless acquisition. What begins in a bedroom ends in a shopping mall.
"Bunuel, of course, is exercising his own dry and totally original wit. His film is filled with small, droll touches, with tiny peculiarities of behavior, with moral anarchy, with a cynicism about human nature that somehow seems, in his hands, almost cheerful. "