The forbidden films of Luis Buñuel

"The forbidden films of Luis Buñuel" at the Latin American House

CineClub @ Latin American House Spring 2009

Luis Buñuel, often considered the father of cinematic Surrealism, had a long and colorful career. From 1929 to 1977 Buñuel produced 32 films in five different countries, won numerous awards at film festivals worldwide, one of his films became protected by the UNESCO, and was exiled from his native Spain – twice.

Buñuel preferred to shock and bombard his audience with disturbing images and disjointed storylines that seemed to have no rhyme or reason to them. He delighted in satirizing religion and government, ripping off the veneer of civility and rationalism to reveal the savage hypocrisy beneath. His films are heavy with undercurrents of sexual deviance and political subversion, and are all characterized by a horror at the world’s cruelty, but for the greater part of his career, he submerged it under a veneer of sophisticated distanciation.

Luis Buñuel, by Salvador Dalí

Luis Buñuel, by Salvador Dalí

The films we present have been chosen to represent the three major phases Buñuel went through – the surrealist (Un Chien Andalou, L’Âge d’Or and Land Without Bread), the low-budget Mexican filmmaker (The Forgotten Ones), and the elegantly satirical continental European (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie); plus a delightful odd (Viridiana, his only feature film made in Spain). But foremost, we present his five most polemic films, which have been either banned, fiercely criticized, or condemned by the Church. As a contrast, the last film we present, although as acid as any of is other works, was highly acclaimed, to the point of winning an Oscar. Is in that manner Buñuel being praised by the sheer core of those he satirizes about? And were did he came from, anyway? Above all, Buñuel is, no doubt, the greatest (auto) joker of all time.

* 30 April: Un Chien Andalou, L’Âge d’Or and Land Without Bread (1929-32)
* 14 May: The Forgotten Ones (1950)
* 28 May: Viridiana (1961)
* 11 June: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

Video presentation of the season

Source: Little Ashes


~ by Anónimo García on Thursday 30 April 2009.

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