Buñuel's use of symbolism is subtle but direct. I think what makes his body of work, and films like 'Viridiana' and 'The Exterminating Angel' so masterful is how boiled down they are. The plots are relatively minimal, there is no unnecessary fluff from one scene to the next. The action is clear, the characters are developed and those little magical moments (the last supper, reaching for an utter) stand out like gems!
What continues to obsess me in Buñuel is how he doesn't allow his audience to be situated in any safe spot, any higher moral plane. Viridiana, one of the most subversive films of all time, takes this procedure to an extreme: the anarchic spirit that pervades the film speaks louder than its most clear satirizations - one cannot find a place to settle as a whole world of certainties implodes onscreen. Masterpiece.
You want a lesson in social satire? Look no further. While in Buñuel's time this was for him a criticism of Fascist Spain and religion, his thoughts and observations are just as relevant and timeless today as they were in 1961. His formula for comedy as dark as this truly is unrelenting tragedy + time.
I enjoyed it all. I saw it decades ago and only remember the milking and the last supper. The then-censors preferred the "shuffle the deck" ending?! The target is broad, the worst of human nature shown dispassionately. Multifaceted characters. Masochism, pride, misogyny, violence (rape with hinted paedophilia), piety, sloth, bullying etc. Charitableness, ambition, cameraderie, love, hope, work etc.
A great little social commentary, with each character playing the role the other expects them to play. The cinematography is itself pretty perverse, with the scenes being set up so that the audience takes part in this little game. And I can't decide what to make of the end, and maybe it is better for me to see it as many things at the same time.
Silvia Pinal stars as a young nun who feels that she cannot return to her convent after an instance of abuse, deciding to instead help the poor in the local area by feeding and housing them. Directed by Luis Bunuel, this is a drama infused with some dark humour. And it's a great piece of entertainment.
It was certainly one thing after another. A third of the way in and I thought it was a de Sadean chamber drama, but then it became something quite different. I found Buñuel's obvious love for the down-and-outs very moving. However, I suspect that he would always hold a rapist morally above a sanctimonious would-be-rapist, which troubles me. [More on this in the comments].
Buñuel's satire is a pinnacle in arguably the Golden Era of Spanish cinema, a time when Spanish directors, spurred by the constraints of living under the grip of a repressive isolationist regime, sharpened their wits and subversive skills to slip through the net of official censorship critical oeuvres taking on the fallacies of the Spanish Establishment, here painting a bleak picture of the human condition.
Francos Nachkriegsspanien: eine verlotterte, allein auf sich selbst bezogene Bourgeoisie, Gewalt gegen Frauen und die Armut Spaniens - all das eskaliert in der Anarchie eines letzten Abendmahls, das die Bettler in diesem Fim veranstalten. Sieben Jahre nach Erscheinen des Films kommt das Album der Rolling Stones auf den Markt: Beggars Banquet. Das Fest der Bettler und jenes der Pop-Ikonen läuten die neuen Zeiten ein.