With the 1929 short “Un Chien Andalou,” Luis Buñuel (1900-1983) dove headfirst into Surrealism; the film’s mirthful logic and shocking images (most famously, a sliced eyeball) established the Spanish filmmaker’s unrivaled talent for bringing dreams and nightmares to the screen. After making “Un Chien Andalou” and its feature-length playmate, L’AGE D’OR, he fled the Spanish Civil War and eventually settled in Mexico; the iconoclastic director would frequently return to Europe to make one boundary-blowing film after another.
Fetish, religion, bourgeois society and moral degradation occupy Buñuel cinema like slyly winking serpents. As varying combinations of madonna and whore, VIRIDIANA, TRISTANA and Séverine from BELLE DE JOUR are movie heroines unlike any other, and Buñuel’s gleefully ballsy treatment of taboos remains deliciously entertaining. The razor-sharp class commentary of these works is fused with the cinematic anarchy of “Andalou” in the director’s later features THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE and THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY, bringing Luis Buñuel’s surreal career full circle.
Series also includes “Land Without Bread” (in a new digital restoration informed by the original scenario notes), a display of production-related gems from the Buñuel Institute archive, a "Surrealist Ball" featuring appetizers from Buñuel’s personally curated home dinner menu, and other surreal surprises.
Series programmed by Gwen Deglise, Grant Moninger and John Hagelston.