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Which clippings match 'Surrealist Filmmaker' 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)

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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
02 OCTOBER 2011

Rabbits: three rabbits live with a fearful mystery

"In a nameless city, deluged by a continuous rain, three rabbits live with a fearful mystery. Rabbits is a 9 episode sitcom featuring Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, and Scott Coffey."

(LynchNet)

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2002anthropomorphism • anti-realist aesthetics • apartmentbizarre • continuous rain • daily lifeDavid Lynchdehumanisationdistanced viewpointdistanciation • episodic • hare • humanoid rabbits • in and out • independent cinemaironing • Laura Elena Harring • mise-en-scenemystery • nameless city • Naomi Wattsotherworldlinessplacenessproscenium archrabbit • Rabbits (2002) • scene • Scott Coffey • series of episodes • sitcom • sitting on a couch • solo singing • strangestrangenesssurrealist filmmakertheatrical space • three rabbits • unnatural roomvisual designweird

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 MAY 2009

BBC Four Arena 1986 television documentary about Salvador Dali

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1986 • Amanda Lear • Andre BretonArena (TV series)BBC Four • blank canvas • donkey • eggfake art • Gala Dali • Hotel Le Meurice • je ne vois pas la femme cachee dans la foret • Jean-Francois Millet • jesuit • Johannes VermeerLouvreLuis BunuelMan RayMarcel DuchampMax Ernst • Paul Eluard • piano • recluse • rhinoceros • Sacre-Coeur • Salvador Dalisurrealist artistssurrealist filmmakertelevision documentary • The Angelus (1859) • The Enigma of William Tell (1933) • The Lacemaker (1670) • Un Chien Andalou (1929)unconscious desiresVladimir Lenin

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 SEPTEMBER 2008

Dreams That Money Can Buy

"Berlin–born Hans Richter – Dadaist, painter, film theorist and filmmaker – was for four decades one of the most influential members of the cinematic avant–garde. Richter assembled some of the century's liveliest artists as co–creators of Dreams That Money Can Buy, his most ambitious attempt to bring the work of the European avant–garde to a wider cinema audience. Among its admirers is film director David Lynch.

Joe, a young man down on his luck, discovers he has the power to create dreams, and sets up a business selling them to others. The 'dreams' he gives to his clients are the creations of Max Ernst, Fernand Lger, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder and Richter himself, and the result is by turns playful, hypnotic, satirical, charming and nightmarish."

Dreams That Money Can Buy is a film in seven segments namely:
"Desire" Director, Writer – Max Ernst; "The Girl with the Prefabricated Heart" Director, Writer – Fernand Léger; "Ruth, Roses and Revolvers" Director, Writer – Man Ray; "Discs" Director, Writer – Marcel Duchamp; "Ballet" Director, Writer – Alexander Calder; "Circus" Director, Writer – Alexander Calder; "Narcissus" Director, Writer – Hans Richter.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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