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Which clippings match 'Absurd Situations' keyword pg.1 of 1
03 JULY 2015

The Phone Box: allegory about the consequences of dehumanisation

"In a bland square in Madrid, some workers, who are wearing a strange uniform, are installing a phone box. Some moments later, an anonymous citizen, after taking his son to the school bus, gets trapped in the box for no understandable reason. As the day goes by, all kind of strangers go there to see the strange event: some of them try to free him; others make fun of him… Everyone looks interested in this little man. After a distressing delay full of surrealistic moments, the trapped man is taken to a strange factory full of thousands of phone boxes. In each one, a single corpse is trapped, in some strange ritual. The movie ends with a new phone box in another square of the city."

(Aaron Rodriguez, World Cinema Directory)

Antonio Mercero (1972). "La Cabina/The Phone Box", -phone booth location: Calle de Rodríguez San Pedro, 5, Madrid, Spain [http://filmap.tumblr.com/post/98879196634/la-cabina-antonio-mercero-1972-phone-booth-calle].

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1972absurd situationsallegory • Antonio Mercero • black tale • caught in a trap • claustrophobic spacescyclical narrativedehumanisation • dehumanised society • distressdisturbing taleenclosed space • entrapment • environment as antagonist • eternal cycle • fait accomplifantasy about deathfeelings of panic • futility • get me the hell out of here • helplessness • high concept • Jose Luis Garci • Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez • La cabina (1972) • macabreMadrid • mummified remains • no escape • phone booth • powerlesspsychological horrorsadisticsarcophagusshort filmSpanish filmspeculative fictionsymbolic meaning • telephone booth • telephone box • The Telephone Box (1972) • tombtrapped • twisted game

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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)

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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
20 JULY 2011

Knallerfrauen: Das neue iPad (chopping board)

"Das neue iPad, Ältere Herrschaften haben oftmals mit neuerer Technik ihre Probleme." © SAT.1

[Humorous scene where Martina Hill discovers her father (played by Claus Dieter Clausnitzer) using her present of a new iPad as a chopping board – where he has misunderstood what the purpose of the iPad is.]

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TAGS

71 Comedy International • absurd situationsaffordances • Claus Dieter Clausnitzer • comical situation • cooking • cultural significance of objectsdesign of everyday thingsdeviceeveryday lifefather • German comedy • German televisionhumouriPad • iPad chopping board • kitchen • Knallerfrauen • making sense • Martina Hill • misunderstandingnew technologyperceived affordancephysical capabilitiespreparing a mealreal affordancessensemaking • situation comedy • sketch comedytechnology affordancesuseful significance

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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