Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Apparition' keyword pg.1 of 1
11 JULY 2014

The Phantom of Liberty: humorous critique of bourgeois conventions

"Luis Buñuel's The Phantom of Liberty was quickly dismissed upon its release in 1974. Not only did it have to contend with the lingering success of 1972's similarly themed but significantly less abstract The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, but it was quickly followed by the dreamlike, bi–polar romantic entanglement of the director's last film, That Obscure Object of Desire. Like Discreet Charm, the plot–free Phantom of Liberty is a patchwork of comedic sketches and sight gags through which Buñuel ravages a complacent European culture and the various sexual hang–ups and historical and cultural disconnects of its inhabitants. This heady, almost off–putting masterwork isn't particularly easy to decipher (maybe we aren't meant to), which is why it's best to approach it as a literal comedy of manners.

Films structured around daisy chains of dysfunction are a dime a dozen; most, though, are as tiresomely long–winded as they are content with their own strained circularity. This isn't the case with Phantom of Liberty, which begins with a shot of Goya's 1808 masterpiece 'The Third of May.' The painting depicts Napoleon's army executing a group of faceless Spaniards, and via a reenactment of this struggle, Buñuel depicts how one of Napoleon's captains tries to defile the monument of Doña Elvira only to be smacked on the head by the moving arm of the statue of the woman's husband. (He later intends to sleep with the woman's corpse, and when he opens her coffin, he's amazed by how her beauty has been preserved.) It's the first of many sight gags in the film, each and every one as startling as they are perversely funny. All these moments are possessed by a sense of shocked wonderment and discovery, and they all more or less evoke fragile pasts and characters trying to reconcile their historical detachments."

(Ed Gonzalez, 13 September 2003, Slant Magazine)

1

2

3

4

TAGS

1974absurd situationsabsurdist humourabsurdity • Adolfo Celi • Adriana Asti • Anne-Marie Deschott • apparition • Arch de Triomphe • archaic rules • Bernard Verley • black humour • bourgeois • bourgeoise societycancer • chance encounter • cigarettes • Claude Pieplu • coffin • comedic sketches • comedycomedy of mannerscorpsecritiquecultural conventionscultural pastdaughterdining practicesdinner tabledisappearancedoctor • Dona Elvira • eatingepisodic structureetiquetteEuropean cinema • European culture • faith • Francois Maistre • girl • Goya • Helene Perdriere • hotel • housemaid • humour • impulses • internal logic • intrusion • Jean Rochefort • Jean-Claude Brialy • Julien Bertheau • Le Fantome de la Liberte (1974) • Luis Bunuel • mailman • masterwork • Michael Lonsdale • Michel Piccoli • Milena Vukotic • Monica Vitti • Montparnasse • morality • nanny • narrative preconceptions • obscene • ostrich • parodypatchwork • Paul Frankeur • phallicphallic symbol • Philippe Brigaud • Pierre Maguelon • policepolite societypostcard • postman • psychoanalysisritual • rooster • rulesschool • schoolchildren • Serge Silberman • sexual hang-ups • sexual taboo • sight gag • sketch comedy • sniper • social behavioursocial conventionsSpanish filmsubconscioussurrealist cinemasurrealist filmmakertaboo • That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) • The Phantom of Liberty (1974) • The Third of May (1808) • toilettriptych • vanished • visual gagzoo

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 AUGUST 2012

Paolo Gioli's cinematic tone poem to Marilyn Monroe

"Italian film maker Paolo Gioli creates a haunting short movie by animating photographs taken by Bert Stern of Marilyn Monroe shortly before she died at the age of 36, fifty years ago today.

Filmarilyn is both beautiful and foreboding. As the film's jazzy rhythms start to disintegrate and the images slow to a crawl, 'X' marks on the contact sheets appear like magical curses and a fresh scar on Marilyn's flesh transforms into a stigmata while her face, half–hidden by shrouds of white, eyes closed, turns impossibly pale and lifeless. In the final moments, close–ups of her hands in death–like repose seem almost saintly and as the film's last frames unspool we are left with the sense of having seen an apparition, a ghost... a soul X–rayed.

It's amazing how much power and sadness Gioli creates from so few elements – a testimony to his artistry, Marilyn's radiance and Stern's skill in capturing it."

(Marc Campbell, 05 August 2012, Dangerous Minds)

Fig.1 Paolo Gioli (1992) "Filmarilyn", uploaded to Vimeo by Volodymyr Bilyk.

1

TAGS

1992 • actress • animated sequenceanimated video • animating photographs • apparitionavant-garde cinema • Bert Stern • blondecelluloid • contact sheet • cultural icondeath • death-like repose • depth of focus • disintegrate • experimental film • eyes closed • Filmarilyn • Filmmarilyn • final moments • forebodingfound imagesframe by frameghost • haunting • HollywoodHollywood starletjazz rhythm • lifeless • manipulated images • Marilyn Monroe • modulated object framing • motion designnon-narrative • Paolo Gioli • photographic blow-upspop iconre-purposerhythmic motionrisque • scar • scavengedsequence design • sex symbol • short film • short movie • shrouds of white • simulate dimensionality • slow to a crawl • soul • stigmata • still images • still photographs • stop-frame animation • superstar • tantalizing • tone poem • unspool • visual recessions • X marks • x-ray

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
Sign-In

Sign-In to Folksonomy

Can't access your account?

New to Folksonomy?

Sign-Up or learn more.