SUSANA (Luis Buñuel, 1951)

Perhaps the dreariest of the films that Spaniard Luis Buñuel made in Mexico, Susana—also known as The Devil and the Flesh—finds a woman undoing the tranquility of the household with whom she takes refuge after escaping from a reformatory one stormy night. One early on knows that things aren’t going to work well here when, frightening by a bat and rats in her isolation cell, Susana drops to her knees at the cross on the floor formed by light coming in through the window. Buñuel was right that his irony lacked its usual edge here. It is amusing, though, to contemplate whether Pier Paolo Pasolini was influenced by this film for his marvelous Teorema (1967).
     From a novel by Manuel Reachi.

What follows is a list of my ten favorite films by Buñuel, one of cinema’s great masters, in order of preference:

Viridiana (1961)
The Milky Way (1969)
The Golden Age (1930)
Nazarin (1958)
The Exterminating Angel (1962)
Las Hurdas—Land Without Bread (1932)
Mexican Bus Ride (1951)
Illusion Travels by Streetcar (1953)
Simon of the Desert (1965)
El (1952)


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