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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterwork, March 3 2003
By 
David A. Roman "thedeepravine" (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The film's central characters are overcome by their bourgeois sense of propriety and, due to pretense, are seemingly trapped in an opulent parlor room by their incapacity to overcome their own outrageous forms of hypocritical propriety. The inability to leave the dinner party first grows to absurd proportions leading to the inability of all attendees to leave at all. They are psychologically impaired and degenerate, slowly, into their basest elements until they realize, collectively, that escape is possible.
Rejecting rationalism, and accessing the unconscious desires of mankind, is at the heart of this film. The constructs of man, the masks of artifice he appropriates, are fashioned out of rationalism and serve to obfuscate reality. Man becomes pretentious, corrupt, immoral, and despondent because he has lost sense of himself. For Buñuel, the bourgeoisie is ripe for attack, given that they shape and determine the values of their society. If our social leaders reject true humanity, then how can society hope to find truth? For Buñuel, humanity cannot thrive under such conditions. Hell is divestiture from the self.
This film is for anyone who enjoys an intelligent and beautiful film (Cinematography by Mexican master Gabriel Figueroa). Buñuel is clearly one of the greatest pillars of modern film.
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Exterminating Angel (The Criterion Collection)
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