Showing posts with label luis bunuel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label luis bunuel. Show all posts

1 September 2012

That Obscure Object of Desire Blu-Ray Review

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That Obscure Object of Desire was Luis Buñuel’s last film in 1977 after a very long career. His career started in 1929 with the classic surrealistic short film Un Chien Andalou. That Obscure… was one of his most critically successful films where it got nominated for numerous awards including a Oscar noms for “Best Foreign Language Film” and “Best Adapted Screenplay”. It stars Fernando Rey who worked frequently with Buñuel during the 60s and 70s. It was also based on the novel “The Women and the Puppet” by Pierre Louÿs which has been adapted many times to film, That Obscure… was the 5th and final to date.

It tells the story of a middle age wealthy French man Mathieu (Fernando Way) and meets Conchita (played by both Carole Bouquet AND Ángela Molina). They start a dysfunctional romance to say the least against the backdrop of terrorist bombings in France and Spain. The film starts with Mathieu getting on a train, Conchita is running towards the train and he pays a train worker to get a bucket of water and he dumps it on her and he believes their relationship is finished but she sneaks on.

Mathieu meets a group of people a midget, a friend of cousin, a mother and her daughter on the train. He tells them his’ story of their extremely complicated relationship.  The flashbacks consist of Mathieu trying to screw Conchita (who claims to be a Virgin) and failing miserably by escalating absurd reasons why they can’t have sex and the reasons and at one point she wears a pair of tightly laced canvas shorts to protect her groin region.

The film as always expected with Buñuel is a wonderfully twisted satire on the Bourgeoisie, Religion, Sex and Politics. It’s rip roaringly funny as places and one of the most astute films on the games women play on men. Fernando Ray is great even though his lines are actually dubbed by Michael Piccoli but his sense of being madly in love, frustration and despair is obvious despite this. Carole Bouquet and Ángela Molina are also great as Conchita, the beautiful but totally wicked girl of his dreams.

The film is also one of his least surreal films. However it’s got very subtle surrealist touches such as the randomness of a dwarf in Michael’s train cabin, the use of 2 actresses, a woman carrying a pig like a baby.

It’s a wonderfully twisted end of the career of one cinema’s true artists and originals. It may not be the best starting point for a new person to Buñuel (something like The Exterminating Angel would be more fitting). I think any man can relate to the Mathieu and it’s a true classic at this point. It has been recently reissued as part of the StudioCanal collection on Blu-Ray.

Ian Schultz

Re-release Blu-Ray: 10th September 2012 (UK)
Directed by:Luis Buñuel
Cast: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Julien Bertheau

8 August 2012

Studio Canal Announces This Year's Titles For It's 'Studio Canal Collection'

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StudioCanal have announced the films that will make up this year's 'StudioCanal Collection' the series that aims to revisit some of the most iconic films from Studiocanal's  back catalogue of over 5,000 titles.

For those of you who don't know, the StudioCanal Collection is a series of acclaimed and influential films on Blu-ray with unique special features and accompanying booklets, available in HD so as to present the best possible picture and sound quality. This year's classic films will be Orson Welles The Trial,Luis Buneul's  That Obscure Object of Desire and Marcel Carne's  Le Quai Des Brumes (Port Of Shadows).


Based on the influential Franz Kafka novel, THE TRIAL is a paranoid masterpiece directed by Orson Welles (Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil). Josef K (Anthony Perkins – Psycho) is arrested, but has no idea what crime he is accused of. In order to find out what offence he is meant to have committed, and to protest his innocence, Josef K must go through the machinations of the judicial system, but he soon finds himself trapped in a dehumanised nightmare.
Welles, Kafka and The Trial documentary
Welles, Architect of Light documentary
Tempo Profile: Orson Welles
Interview with Steven Berkoff (actor, playwright) - adaptations of Kakfa's The Trial andMetamorphosis
Deleted Scene
Booklet on the movie written by Jonathan Rosenbaum, film critic and author of Discovering Orson Welles (2007), the editor of This Is Orson Welles  (1998) and consultant on the 1998 re-edit ofTouch Of Evil. 


Adapted from Pierre Louÿs' 1898 novel 'La Femme et le Pantin', THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE marked Buñuel's final film. Recounted in flashback to a group of railway travellers, the story wryly details the romantic perils of Mathieu (Buñuel favourite Fernando Rey), a wealthy middle-aged French sophisticate who falls desperately in love with his 19-year-old former chambermaid Conchita (Carole Bouquet). Thus begins a surreal game of sexual cat-and-mouse, with Mathieu obsessively attempting to win the girl's affections as she manipulates his carnal desires, each vying to gain absolute control of the other.

Arbitrary Desire (Interview with Jean-Claude Carrière)
Interview with Carlos Saura
Double Dames (Interview with Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina)
A portrait if Luis Buñuel (Interview with Pierre Lary and Edmond Richard)


Le QUAI DES BRUMES is Marcel Carné's controversial adaptation of the Pierre Mac Orlan novel of the same name, today regarded as one of the greatest French classical movies. Jean (Jean Gabin), a deserter, arrives in Le Havre and looks for a shelter before leaving the French territory. Housed in a shed on the harbour, at the end of the docks, he meets an eccentric painter (Michel Simon) and a mysterious and beautiful girls called Nelly (Michele Morgan)… From then on he will be trapped in a tragic destiny, in spite of his passion for Nelly and his will to live…

On The Port Of Shadows
Introduction to Quai Des Brumes by Ginette Vincendeau, Professor and Film Critic
Restoring Quai Des Brumes
Booklet on the movie written by Ginette Vincendeau, Professor and Film Critic.

28 June 2012

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie DVD Review

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Cruelty is fun to watch.

X Factor. Eurovision. TOWIE. Britain’s Got Talent. Come Dine With Me. Take Me Out. All are popular shows built around one of two expectations. Firstly, that people really enjoy mocking idiots (even if said idiocy is completely staged), and, secondly, that people get a kick from watching other people bitch. These shows expect people to both enjoy being mean, and vicariously relish the meanness of others.

Well, going by the popularity of these programmes, it seems that that expectation holds up. Considered objectively, this is a fairly unpleasant state of affairs. Indeed, on occasion I feel I should have a problem with it. But then I remember how much I adore both taking the piss out of people and bitching in general: I can recall many conversations that would be the poorer without them. And being mean about people is not just fun. On occasion it even has value. Case in point: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

This film by writer/director Luis Bunuel is truly venomous, though at first it hides it well. Watching Discreet Charm is an experience akin to having a waking dream. Within the film the lines between reality, fiction and imaginings are blurred and shifting, giving all scenes the weight of reality and a lulling dreamy haze. It is paced like a dream too, flowing inexorably yet smooth as silk, unbroken by the constant shifts from location to location, and from reality to fantasy. This style makes for a gentle rather than angry film. But once you peek beneath the surface, the central antipathy of Discreet Charm shines clear as day.

Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a film about slagging off the upper middle classes. And it does so maliciously, gleefully and repeatedly.

The characters of DCB exemplify the film’s hidden venom. On the face of it they don’t seem particularly bad people: a close-knit group of wealthy friends, chatty and companionable. Sure, they dabble in illegal drug trafficking, but drug abuse carries about as much negative stigma on the big screen as killing zombies. On the whole they seem perfectly pleasant.

That is, until they reveal themselves as a band of horrifically snobby hypocrites and poseurs. Thevenot (Paul Frankeur) invites a chauffeur for a drink, just so the group can mock the way he drinks a dry martini. Though they may deal drugs, they declare a hatred for drug addicts and look down their noses at a cavalry commander’s use of marijuana. Don Rafael Acosta (Fernando Rey) claims to have liberal sympathies, in the same breath as stating no amount of education could elevate the lower classes. When the working Bishop, Monseigneur Dufour (Julien Bertheau), appears before Henri and Alice Senechal (Jean-Pierre Cassel & Stephane Audran) in the clothes of a gardener, they refuse to believe he is who he claims to be and roughly eject him from the house. He has to change back into his formal regalia before they show him respect.

Meanwhile, the refined appearance and behaviour of these characters is shown to be merely skin deep. Bunuel looks beneath their crisp, fashionable clothing and boasted culinary knowledge, and brings to light sensual gluttons. These bourgeois pursue physical pleasure compulsively. The Senechals’ inability to restrain their lust causes to the collapse of their dinner party. Acosta, in a room filled with gun-toting revolutionaries desperate to slaughter him, cannot help himself from breaking out of hiding: he just has to finish his lamb chop.

But it is not just the characters that are bedevilled by Bunuel’s nastiness. The whole structure of the film is a statement about how aimless the lives of these people are. The scale of the bourgeoisie’s devotion to physical pleasure is demonstrated by the film’s ‘plot’ concerning their constantly frustrated attempts to have dinner. The goal of their onscreen lives is to eat. The meaninglessness of their lives is further emphasised by a recurring visual metaphor. The bourgeois are walking down a country road, their gait swift and purposeful. Yet there is nothing on the horizon, and nothing but empty fields stretching all around them. The bourgeois, despite appearances, are heading precisely nowhere.

All this makes The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie a comprehensive mockery of the 20th century’s upper classes. It has no interest in balanced assessment, and is ruthless in its attack. It is a cold-bloodedly cruel film. But just because it is cruel, does not mean that its cruelty is gratuitous. The attack is justified because it is an attack on pretentions. Bunuel’s bourgeoisie are thoroughly disrespected, because they expect respect without first earning it. This film attacks that sense of superiority: its barbs aim to tear apart this façade of higher civility. In doing so it aims to keep this new nobility down to earth. In the midst of their social and economic triumph, Discreet Charm is the slave whispering in the bourgeousie’s collective ear:

“Remember: you are arseholes”

Adam Brodie

UK Re-release Date: 29th June 2012 (Cinema) 16th July 2012 (DVD)
Directed by:Luis Buñuel
Cast: Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Cassel
Buy/Pre-Order: Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie On DVD or on Blu-ray

Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie - 40th Anniversary Reissue Published via

Fancy winning the film's poster? Read on....

23 June 2012

Win Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisi​e Posters

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In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the film’s original release,STUDIOCANAL and the ICO are very pleased to announce that they will be releasing a re-mastered digital print of Luis Buñuel’s surreal comedy THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE in cinemas on June 29th, including an Extended Run at BFI Southbank as part of their Jean-Claude Carrière season. Carrière has written the screenplays for many classic films including:  Belle de Jour, The Milky Way, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Tin Drum, La Piscine, Sommersbyand The Unbearable Lightness of Being. He is an Oscar winner for the short filmHappy Anniversary. To celebrate the upcoming re-release of this fantastic film courtesy of Studiocanal we have 3 posters to give away (see above for artwork)

In Luis Buñuel’s deliciously satiric masterpiece, six pillars of society repeatedly try to have dinner together, their plans interrupted by events both real (scheduling mix-ups, a restaurateur's death) and increasingly surreal (including a series of typically Buñuellian dream sequences).Jean-Pierre Cassel, Delphine Seyring, Stéphane Audran, Bulle Ogier and long-time Buñuel collaborators Fernando Rey and Paul Frankeurhead the extraordinary cast of a film made when Buñuel was 72 years old. Full of passion and fire, it was the 1972 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film and BAFTA winner for Best Screenplay.

Alternately laugh-out-loud funny and disquietingly bizarre THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIEremains one of Buñuel's most popular films.

To this fantastic piece of artwork answer the following question:

Q.What was the name of the next film Luis Bunuel Directed After this film?

A.The Phantom Of Liberty

B. Tristana

C.Belle De Jour

Send your answer , name, address, to have your email to header As ‘bunuel’. Deadline:July 15 th, 2012 (2359hrs) .

Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie - 40th Anniversary Reissue Published via

THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE will be in cinemas on June 29th,then on DVD, and for the first time on blu-ray, on July 16th 2012.

Terms and Conditions

  • This prize is non-transferable.
  • No cash alternatives apply.
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    The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse and studiocanal have the right to alter, delay or cancel this competition without any notice
  • The competition is not opened to employees, family, friends of The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse, Studiocanal employees
  • This competition is promoted on behalf of Studiocanal.
  • The Prize is to win The Discreet Charm of The Bourgeoisie on poster
  • To enter this competition you must send in your answer, name, address only, Deadline July 15th, 2012 (2359hrs)
  • Will only accept entries sent to the correct email (, any other entry via any other email will be void.
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