Sunday, October 4, 2009
L'Age D'Or (Luis Bunuel) **1/2
Director: Luis Bunuel
Cast: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys, Max Ernst, Josep Llorens Artigas
Background: Luis Bunuel and artist Salvador Dali collaborated the previous year on the surrealist short film Un Chien Andalou, which contained many shocking images
Story: A young couple (Modot, Lys) are madly in love, but keep getting interrupted in the throes of passion. The interrupters include the bourgeois and the church.
Thoughts: I completely understand what Bunuel and Dali were going for here. Their attack on the corrupt bourgeois and organized religion was certainly meant to get a strong reaction and they definitely succeeded at that. The fascinating and often shocking images they produce definitely caught my attention and I can admire and sympathize with much of the point that they were making. However, the film is just too abstract and disorganized for my taste. That's not necessarily a knock on Bunuel, since that's exactly what he wanted. He was no fan of linear narratives and wanted to use film in a different manner. I admire him for that, but it's just not my cup of tea.
Postscript: The film caused quite a stir when it was release, causing mass protests. In some theaters, the audience was attacked and artwork from Dali and other surrealists was destroyed in the lobby. The film was quickly banned by censors and didn't premiere in the United States until 1979.
Posted by Larry McGillicuddy at 11:17 AM