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The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie (The Criterion Collection)

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Product Description

The surreal film structure of Luis Bunuel's comedic masterpiece The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is thematically linked with dream sequences of several different characters, flashbacks, or a dream within a dream. Its unusual plot consists on five bourgeois friends who go to a couples house to have dinner; and every time they arrive to eat there seems to be an interruption of some sort that stops them from having their meal. Luis Bunuel was known to have life long fetishes and one of them for some reason was the act and tradition of sitting down for dinner. The reoccurring joke in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie are the creative interruptions between each meal, which under the surface are the themes of the decaying European aristocracy like infidelity, drug dealing, military coups, religion, perversion, war, denial, murder, politics, boredom, revenge and sex; along with the arrival of a church Bishop, whose life-long fetish was to dress up as a gardener and work as a servant for the wealthy.

Manufacturer Description

In Luis Buñuel's deliciously satiric masterpiece, an upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts continually thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and imagined. Fernando Rey, Stéphane Audran, Delphine Seyring, and Jean-Pierre Cassel head the extraordinary cast of this 1972 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. Criterion is proud to present The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in an exclusive Special Edition Double-Disc Set.

What can be more enjoyable then a meal among friends and family? In Luis Buñuel's surrealistic comedy The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie it is this common ritual a sextet of upper-class friends repeatedly attempt, only to be obstructed by one obscure event after another. Masterfully balancing the dichotomy of class vs. debauchery Buñuel delivers a ripping critique of the upper class. It is clear from the beginning that the lives Buñuel’s Bourgeoisie are living are not what they seem. Eventually, their true colors begin to shine; not in actual actions but in haunting dreams. What is real and what lies in the subconscious becoming exceedingly blurry and in order to deliver his message, surrealism must take over. It is hard to pigeonhole Buñuel’s classic that won him the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 1972: An absurd odyssey? A discreet satire? Not necessarily, but definitely charming. --Rob Bracco

Product Information

All characters that are in a Luis Bunuel film are psychologically trapped. They are trapped in his universe of utter hell, and for are entertainment we watch as they desperately try to break free, with us knowing they cannot. Luis Bunuel has been one of the most cynical directors ever since he created his radical surreal masterpiece Un Chien Andalou along with Salvaldor Dali in 1929, which is iconic for showing an woman's eye-ball getting sliced from a razor. Bunuel believed most people were hypocrites, especially the wealthy and comfortable, which is primarily who he enjoyed focusing on tormenting throughout his films, presenting the cruel, bleak and destructive views of human existence. When directing The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie the legendary director was 72 years old and I believe this film is less cruel than his earlier work and seems more fun and comical. Maybe Bunuel is mellowing out a little bit and not looking  at the universe so harshly as he had in the past, but still enjoys having his characters suffer and get humiliated in ways that we as an audience guiltily enjoy seeing. 

Key Product Details

  • Number Of Discs: 2
  • Run Time: 101 (Minutes)
  • UPC: 037429154625
  • Director0: Luis Buñuel
  • Director2: José Luis López-Linares