28 January 2005

Luis Buñuel

Dream Politics, an article on "the dizzying charm of Luis Buñuel," examines two of his recently re-released films in today's context:

Meanwhile, Surrealist anarchy has itself been subverted by commercialism. It's no longer the province of the Left. That's an unexpected fact of recent film history. [...]

Both L'Âge d'Or and Los Olvidados look at mankind's abundant moral contradictions. In scholar Robert Short's excellent commentary track for L'Âge d'Or, Buñuel's perspective is described as an adumbration of Freud and Marx's world views—combined (and designed) to reveal the cracks in bourgeois life. The trivial fantasies in movies like Elektra and Assault on Precinct 13 and The Aviator avoid looking at human contradictions. Instead, they substitute a specious disregard for old-time morality, thus leaving the audience with nihilism. However, the anger and pity that rise from the abuse and futility seen in Los Olvidados (which means "The Forgotten Ones") are too strong to be called unconsidered or dispassionate. Buñuel wasn't being fashionable; his response to this rotten world was one of feeling.

(via The Reading Experience)

No comments: