THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE (Luis Buñuel, 1954)

The cat has kittens on the island, and Robinson Crusoe notes that the identity of the father remains a mystery—Luis Buñuel’s parody of the Immaculate Conception! When he needs to chase birds away from his wheat, Crusoe props up a scarecrow. But when he takes its skeleton to the field before “dressing” it, it’s a big cross; and after he drapes a dress on it, he is turned on by it and caresses the flowing fabric in a sensitive spot! Buñuel’s take on Daniel Defoe’s novel is a film with lots of lovely, perverse touches—and gorgeous color cinematography. When Robinson puts leg shackles on Friday—well. (The expedition that Nature thwarted by wrecking Robinson’s ship was one to find and bring back slaves.)
     Buñuel always loves animals, but this film breaks the bank in that regard: goats, dog, cats, exotic birds, not-so-exotic birds, turtles, spider, insects, armadillo, octopus, rats and, doubtless, species I’m forgetting. And, of course, “man-eaters”: humans that blur the distinction between man and beast, with Buñuel winking at us over the parallel that he draws between such uncivilized behavior and the “civilized” practice of slavery.

B(U)Y THE BOOK

MY BOOK, A Short Chronology of World Cinema, IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM THE SANDS FILMS CINEMA CLUB IN LONDON. USING EITHER OF THE LINKS BELOW, ACCESS THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THIS BOOK, FROM WHICH YOU CAN ORDER ONE OR MORE COPIES OF IT. THANKS.

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