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Oh Bunuel. Only you could make a brilliant attack against the bourgeoisie and religion and still fill your movie with visual poop jokes and blowjob humor. I love that crazy Spaniard!
Surprisingly hilarious once I got into it. It's no wonder this offended people, especially in 1930. Bunuel surrounds a relatively linear narrative of thwarted lust with various attacks on church, state, the upper crust, and especially middlebrow bourgeois values. The latter remains quite effective, as forced social mores are trampled underfoot by Bunuel's rampant id unleashed. Such affronts to public decency as the gunning down of an (obnoxious) child for a minor offence, the punting of a yapping puppy and an unprovoked assault on a blind man reveal the subconscious terrain of impulse, desire and rage that the surrealists found so inspiring. And yet there is a lingering thread of fatigue, absurdity and fruitlessness to it all; inspiration and desire are as often (if not more) thwarted as fulfilled. This is my first time watching L'âge d'or, and it definitely seems like a film that demands repeat viewings in order to derive deeper significance from it. Be that as it may, it's still a joy to watch.
As bizarre and fragmented as you'd expect following Buñuel and Dali's "Un Chien Andalou", but this is clearly less Dali's film and more Buñuel's reflected in his ongoing cinematic obsessions present here: violent sexuality and repression, hatred of organised religion and the mockery of the upper classes. It's easy to understand why it was shocking in 1930 - a woman lustfully sucking a statue's toes - equating Jesus Christ with the Marquis de Sade - and although the satire is somewhat blunted now there still some great surreal images are some wonderfully dark comic moments: the sexually frustrated and mud-spattered good-will ambassador kicking a blind man over in the street and the cow revealed in the girl's bed in particular. A great slice of surrealism and a good taster of great things to come from Buñuel.
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