Bunuel returns to Spain and, avoiding any melodrama or cliche, puts his emphasis in Tristana on political and sexual power games within a wealthy household in decline, as a hypocritical, lecherous aristocrat is undermined by his vengeful young ward (while a dictatorship fractures outside). There are few of the surreal touches of other Bunuel films, but his approach is no less cynical - he did not mellow with age.
A film of chilly browns and greys, of melodramatic passions played out with limpid clarity - a clarity so sharp that it becomes dream-like. Few films match such depth of characterization with such depth of social analysis, even while pushing its Freudianism almost to the point of crassness (or until it ceases to be Freudianism). The novel now beckons...
I’m not surprised the Franco regime hated this film, because once again Bunuel roasts the state in showing its systems of control that make humans rotten to the core. It’s more forward than you typically get from Bunuel yet still has his flare. Strong work all around with excellent performances from Deneuve and Rey, two of their very best to be honest.
One of those films everyone says is a classic and then you watch it and you don't enjoy it at all and they say you must have misinterpreted it or don't quite get it (late era Lynch), or you're not bright enough, or you need to see it from a certain point of view, or you need to give it another chance, or else they judge you for not liking something they deem important. One of those films. Maybe. I didn't like it.
A strange film that I'm not sure what to make of. The men are weak, but grand-standing; they speak of morality, but are ruled by desire. Deneuve gives us very little of what she's feeling as if always hiding her true intentions, however, it seems her aim may have been independence from male rule.
The mix of Perez-Galdós and Buñuel works very well in Tristana, a tale of how a woman ends up being morally and I would say mentally destroyed by the male patriarchy. Buñuel centers the story on the unbalanced structures of power, trying to draw some (sad, pathetic) parallels as well with Wuthering Heights, and taking advantage of the most claustrophobic view of Toledo you can think about. Cruel, sad, and fantastic.
I feel it might be me it's something wrong with here, that this in fact is a 5 star movie. Anyway, great as it is in many ways (dealing with death, decay, old age, liberty, class divisions), I feel some of the openness from films like Discreet Charm is missing here. And it disturbed me the whole time that they didn't speak Spanish, more than Aguirre for some reason. 35mm
I definitely need a rewatch. Because I'm sure that I'm missing something in this movie. I don't know why - I felt that TRISTANA lacks of Bunuel's mindf*ck sureallism. I didn't say this movie didn't have it. There are some, but not as many as Bunuel's other movies. Just look at that scene where a decapitated head hanging on a bell. Catherine Deneuve was charming as usual. Her beauty gives a mysterious feeling to me...
After her mother dies, Tristana's (Deneuve) is taken in by her new guardian, the possessive Don Lope (Rey). But after finding love with a local artist, she tests the strength of the invisible shackles that bind her to him. The film juggles a moral compass on both sides & raises questions of possession, desire and religion. But of course this is Bunuel, so nothing is as it seems. Both wonderfully compelling & tragic.
De una historia sencilla explota el detalle del amor, unas veces visceral, otra veces vivido, muchas veces calculado como un poder sobre el otro y finalmente como un recuerdo. De las pasiones y las emociones se puede decir que en está película presentan caminos sutiles, dos cosas no son iguales por más que lo parezcan. Así el amor de D.Lope o el amor de Tristana encajaron en su fuerza pero nunca en su forma.
Interesting themes, but the sub-text became to obvious at times. The narrative was confusing in a non-stimulating way. For example big changes in time without any clear indications. For me it didn't dwell as much as it could on key moments in the story. Don Lope was the most interesting character in this film, as we both emphasized with him and hated him deeply just as Tristana did. All great except the storytelling.
A very Bunuel one, and probably that's why can't be included in his list of greatest. The motif of fate in this film, more than the Bunuelian chance, is probably the biggest hindrance. Two are not the same. The closure tries to connect the recurrent motif of dream, which, in my opinion, is a bit unnecessary, but Bunuel pulls it off because of his mastery. Fernando Rey sounds almost like the alter ego of Bunuel.