THE RIVER AND DEATH (Luis Buñuel, 1954)

From Mexico, Spaniard-in-exile Luis Buñuel’s El río y la muerte is a plot-heavy film version of Miguel Álvarez Acosta’s Muro blarco sobre roca negra, which must be an exceedingly dull, tedious novel if Buñuel and co-scenarist Luis Alcoriza could not wring more interest out of its material than they do. Still, there are things to […]

DEATH IN THE GARDEN (Luis Buñuel, 1956)

In Luis Buñuel’s keenly evocative La mort en ce jardin, the “garden” suggesting the God-given paradise that Adam and Eve corrupted is, in reality, the atheistic jungle to which a group from a South American mining village take to escape the military police, which have the state in their grip. During the flight, late into […]

BELLE TOUJOURS (Manoel de Oliveira, 2006)

Portuguese writer-director Manoel de Oliveira has dedicated Belle toujours, a sequel to Belle de jour (1967), to Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière, who together wrote the script from which Buñuel directed his erotic fusion of character subjectivity, his own dreams, and marital reality. That film was based on Joseph Kessel’s 1928 novel. A theme common […]

THE YOUNG ONE (Luis Buñuel, 1960)

From Peter Matthiessen’s story “Travellin’ Man,” The Young One complicates its confrontation between two American men, one black, one white, by refraining from idealizing either. “Rape!” a city white woman screams when a younger black musician declines her sexual overture, setting into motion a lynch mob. Traver skedaddles for his life, ending up on an […]