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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Widescreen) (The Criterion Collection) [Import]
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In Luis Buñuel's deliciously satiric masterpiece, an upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts continually thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and imagined. Fernando Rey, Stéphane Audran, Delphine Seyring, and Jean-Pierre Cassel head the extraordinary cast of this 1972 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. Criterion is proud to present The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in an exclusive Special Edition Double-Disc Set.
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 BraccoSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The film will not be to everybody's taste: if you tend to favour no-brainer farces like 'Dumb & Dumber', I'd advise you to give this one a miss. However if you enjoy the films of Woody Allen, the Coen brothers and fine cinema generally you will enjoy this film, especially as the performances are wonderful: the urbane Fernando Rey, sexy Stephane Audran, and the bumbling Paul Frankeur are perfectly cast.
The anamorphic image is outstanding: vividly clear with beautiful colours, and no nicks or flecks at all. Just beam up the sequence where the guests arrive for lunch near the beginning of the film (about 20 or so minutes in) and marvel at the luscious greens of the foliage as the car comes up the drive.
Bunuel's direction is understated, but that is his genius in this film: in lesser hands this rambling tale with its bizarre dream sequences interpolated would have been a shambles, but the 'story' is so tautly told and perfectly paced.
The shorter documentary is not so interesting, but the 105 minutes one is fascinating.
A desert island DVD set.
Along the way, Bunuel tweaks the story and his characters with winged, giggly dream scenes. The is surely one of the nastiest social satires ever put on film, and it's also the funniest. Bunuel was seventy-two when he directed this acid charmer - his most successful film ever - and the jokes flow freely and effortlessly. First released in the early 70's, the film is now being re-released to celebrate Bunuel's 100th anniversary with this newly restored print on DVD from The Criterion Collection. To add to the fun, make it a double-feature with Bunuel's slyly sexy, "That Obscure Object of Desire," in which Carole Bouquet (in one of her earliest roles) and the fiery Agelina Molina actually play the same role - a woman practically every man is chasing after.
The real treat in the package is 98 minute long documentary on Buñuel. I never expected it to be so informative and so entertaining at the same time. It's filmed with interesting anecdotes from lifelong collaborators,friends, and family. The documentary also includes rare footage of Buñuel speaking freely among friends and sharing his opinions on a variety of subject matters.
If you are a fan of Buñuel's work, you will find this DVD package to be worth every penny. If you're unfamiliar with Buñuel, do yourself a favor and purchase this DVD for you are about to stumble upon one of cinema's most gifted artists.
There is also a priest who enters the house of one of the group, and gets the job of being their gardener. He later visits an old dying gardener to give him absolution, and it transpires the dying man requests forgiveness for killing the priest's parents. The priest tells God to forgive him, then promptly shoots him with a shotgun. The ambassador Raphael continually has his country insulted. A soldier keeps insulting Miranda, so Raphael shoots him.
Just when you think the group will never get to dine, they begin, and are interrupted by a gun toting group of villains. There is then a memorable shot of Raphael cowering under the table finally eating a piece of meat. But is it all a dream?Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
More like 'unusual charm'. A good portrayal of upper class people in their element, and outside of their element. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Johnny Rocker
Every educated person should see Bunuel's mouvies. They are classic now.Published 24 months ago by bb
Great film at a great price. Although this is definitely not a film for every taste... if you enjoy Bunuel's irreverent humor and surreal touches and have not seen this one yet... Read morePublished on May 22 2013 by nobody
C'est un excellent film de Bunuel. On s'amuse tout le temps. Chaque scène est bien faite. L'image et le son sont bonnes mais, malheureusement il n'y a pas des... Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2012 by Cardo
Le film est fantastique... le prix est ridiculement élevé. Il y a des compagnies qui produisent des rééditions de films obscurs avec autant de soins... Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2008 by Jean-Pierre Malo
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, under its original title "Le Charme discret de la... Read more
Bunuel's handling of narrative is nothing short of masterful in this film. The work's structure is akin to a collection of interconnected short stories - stories that have... Read morePublished on April 8 2004
I'd like to be able to say that I was blown away by this film. It is after all one of bunel's most famous and most loved. But I wasn't. It was fun. It was quirky. Very odd. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004 by Philip D. Worfel
Among the works of the best directors of the 20th century, the films of Luis Bunuel stand out as some of the most original and provocative. Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2002 by Robert Blake
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