The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: LUIS BUNUEL

THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOIS (1972) **

I’ve always wanted to check out more of Luis Bunuel’s work. I really dug Un Chien Andalou, but never saw anything else by him. The purpose of this month’s theme, Director Spotlight is for me to play catch up on some of the world’s top directors, so what better time to check out The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeois?

Six people (among them, Fernando Rey and Daughters of Darkness’ Delphine Seyrig) try to go find someplace to eat. The first restaurant they go to winds up being closed because the manager died. Then they try to meet for lunch, but the main dude gets paranoid that the police are after him and he bolts. There are several more attempts by the disgruntled dinner guests to share a meal, some of which are interrupted when random people tell them about their dreams.

Bunuel is one of the most famous surrealists of all time. His jolting imagery is what made Un Chien Andalou so memorable. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeois is like 100 times more lightweight than that flick, but it does have its moments. The constant dream sequences (which become more frequent as the film goes on), don’t exactly help, although there’s a scene where a kid has to poison his evil stepfather at the behest of his mother’s ghost that’s pretty cool.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeois is mostly harmless. It’s watchable, but it never really kicks into gear either. The dream sequences feel sort of slap-dashed together and they never really amount to much in the end. I still appreciate what Bunuel was going for. And while I’m glad I watched the film, I can’t exactly say I “liked” it.

That’s going to wrap up Director’s Spotlight for this month. Since I recently bought the Criterion Zatoichi box set, next month’s movie-watching-palooza will be Zatoichi-Palooza!

Tags: .director spotlight, comedy, d
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