"Bourgeois convention is demolished in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem...Featuring an elegant soiree with guests seated at toilet bowls, poker-playing monks using religious medals as chips, and police officers looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses. Perverse, playfully absurd."
Most peculiar. It's like an unfunny but bizarre episode of Monty Python. There's a 5-minute scene, then we follow a new character walking out of that scene and into a new one. Then that scene goes on for 5 or 10 minutes, then a very tenuous connection to a new scene, etc. Each scene is bizarre in its own way. It would have been a better movie if these scenes were funny, but being bizarre is good enough.
By turning reality into a series of surreal circumstances, we are forced to question the reality that we take for granted everyday. We are so planted in what we think we know to be true, that by challenging those beliefs, we are forced to be more open. Buñuel twists reality, choosing not to reaffirm our beliefs, but to challenge them instead. In Phantom he does so with a quiet wit, & with a subtle & satisfying depth.
I'm not sure surrealism in the service of comedy is surreal anymore. It's just comedy. Like the movie 'Airplane'. I prefer that the surrealism is taken seriously. This is a bunch of gags which is pleasant enough, but it doesn't fill your soul like 'Discreet Charm'. But you're not going to see a whole lot of comedies on my best of list, so take it with a grain of salt.
Our Daily Free Stream: Luis Bunuel - The Phantom Of Liberty (french with germ. subt.). Alles geriet auf die schiefe Bahn als Napoleon 1908 in Spanien einfiel. Die Soldaten erschossen alle, die nicht befreit werden wollten. "Nieder mit der Freiheit" propagierten sie, so erklärt es uns Bunuel in seiner wilden Komödie... mehr auf cinegeek.de
Destroyer of viewer's prejudices and preconceived notions, and the revealer of hypocrisy and sins of the bourgeoisie. Light-hearted, funny, and absurd, Buñuel's penultimate film is polished and structurally sound, but I still somehow felt disconnected (a deeply personal film, Buñuel mixed together his past themes with his own experiences). The idea of chance encounters seems ok, but kind of flimsy.
My favourite Bunuel's hit their target with the precision of the razor slicing the eyeball but this one offers up its own fitting cue with a sniper taking wild pot-shots into the crowded streets. Its seamless structure is impeccable but it feel slight, especially considering how many great films he delivered on the fallacy of reason and our thinly constituted belief in order. Fitting then he should offer this chaos.