What can be more enjoyable then a meal among friends and family? In Luis Buñuel's surrealistic comedy The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie
it is this common ritual a sextet of upper-class friends repeatedly attempt, only to be obstructed by one obscure event after another. Masterfully balancing the dichotomy of class vs. debauchery Buñuel delivers a ripping critique of the upper class. It is clear from the beginning that the lives Buñuels Bourgeoisie
are living are not what they seem. Eventually, their true colors begin to shine; not in actual actions but in haunting dreams. What is real and what lies in the subconscious becoming exceedingly blurry and in order to deliver his message, surrealism must take over. It is hard to pigeonhole Buñuels classic that won him the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 1972
: An absurd odyssey? A discreet satire? Not necessarily, but definitely charming. --Rob Bracco
Criterion has put together an impressive set in honor of Luis Buñuel's 100th Birthday. First and foremost, this newly restored, high-definition 1.66:1 anamorphic transfer is a visual treat. The cleaned up French mono soundtrack also has new English subtitles providing a more accurate translation. The set includes two documentaries on the work of Buñuel. "El Naufrago De La Calle De La Providencia"
is a collage of images, friends stories, and home movie clips that serve as a tribute to the Spanish filmmaker. "A proposito de Buñuel (2000),"
a 98-minute documentary on the life and work of Buñuel, provides further insight on the surrealistic filmmaker, his ideas, his life and his art. If you are new to Buñuel, this documentary is an excellent introduction to get you up to speed on his esoteric work. If you are already a fan, it will provide lots of new information that will have you longing to revisit his catalog. --Rob Bracco