luis bunuel

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Foreign Objects - Large

Love is a complicated thing, and whether you believe in soul mates or that it’s all a crap-shoot of the heart you’d be hard-pressed to deny that’s it’s an elusive, fragile and all together dangerous emotion. It’s especially complicated when the two people involved aren’t anywhere near the same page. And when you add socio-political commentary into the mix? Hallmark doesn’t have a card for this one. It’s post-WWI Spain, and Tristana’s (Catherine Deneuve) mother has died. Before she passed the woman entrusted a “friend” named Don Lope (Fernando Rey) to take on the role of guardian to the teenage girl and protect her into womanhood. He takes Tristana on as his ward, but what starts in innocence quickly leads to more physical desires triggered by a casual glimpse at her breasts beneath a nightgown. A see-saw relationships develops between the lusty old man and the sweetly optimistic teen, but as time passes emotions and loyalties shift in dramatic fashion until the couple they are and the couple they were bear little resemblance.

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Year in Review: Best Criterion

It seems like every year we have to begin this particular article with the disclaimer that we aren’t necessarily talking about the best releases Criterion put upon us this calendar year. If one made a list of top 10 home releases in a given year one could conceivably litter that list with nothing but Criterion releases, and still find themselves in the same predicament. Here, our approach to this article has, more often than not, been based on a wow factor in one of many different areas. Either a wow for the presentation of the release, a wow for the personal discovery of something previously unknown, a wow for the collective power of a set, or, occasionally the most fun, a wow for the “I can’t believe Criterion released that….I’m really happy Criterion decided to release that…but seriously can you believe they released that?” This year was no different in any of those respects for Criterion as they continue to put out some of the most impressive releases month in and month out with films that have been in dire need of the Criterion treatment for a long time (Purple Noon), notoriously maligned and controversial artworks that deserve a second chance (Heaven’s Gate), their continuous support for the unique voices of the next generation of filmmakers (Tiny Furniture) while trying to also include the early works of some of modern cinema’s most exciting visionaries (The Game, Being John Malkovich, Shallow Grave); which, on that note, brings us to our first […]

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Criterion Files

Luis Buñuel’s adaptation of Octave Mirbeau’s novel “Diary of a Chambermaid” (1964) was made at a decisive point in the master filmmaker’s long, dynamic, and illustrious career. The film marked Buñuel’s second foray into European filmmaking after an almost thirty-year hiatus, during which time he made a large number of films in Mexico, contributing greatly to what is now considered the nation’s midcentury cinematic Golden Age. The Spanish filmmaker first returned to Europe to make Viridiana (1961) in Spain (the only film Buñuel ever completed in his native country). Viridiana proved a sensation in every sense of the word: it made a huge splash for international critics and audiences starting with its enthusiastic reception at that year’s Cannes Film Festival and it was met with legendary controversy (no stranger to the filmmaker) in Franco’s tightly-regulated Spain. Viridiana revisits several of Buñuels’ thematic preoccupations from his Surrealist years in France and his pseudo-social-realist films in Mexico, specifically in terms of the infamous atheist’s routine subversion of religious iconography. The now-iconic scene where a group of vagrants sit around a grand dinner table, positioned in a way reminiscent of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper (1495-98), proved to be a heretical image for one audience and a brilliant and beautiful inversion for another (By the way, why did nobody in the Catholic community say that critiquing Renaissance art isn’t heretical? Is Da Vinci Jesus?).

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Culture Warrior

Acts of spontaneity have been an essential component of artistic expression in the twentieth century, based in the notion of a perceived “purity” within the spontaneous act that allows art to be directly articulated without mediation or interference from social pressures and constructs. From the improvisatory paintings of Jackson Pollock to the idea of the rewrite as heresy within Jack Kerouac’s prose, spontaneity in many cases is seen as the only way to make art that has any “real” meaning. According to Daniel Belgrad, mid-century efforts toward artistic spontaneity provided a means of expression free from the constrains enforced by an oppressive, conformist hegemonic culture: “This new avant-garde shared the belief that cultural conditioning functioned ideologically by encouraging the atrophy of certain perceptions and the exaggeration of others…In the recovery of such an alternative “reality”…they saw the only basis for constructively radical social change.” Spontaneity through art then doesn’t alter perception as much as its restores it to its ideal original state, allowing artists and spectators of art to see beyond a regime’s oppressive confines.

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. This trailer features six middle-class citizens attempting to make it through a dinner that keeps getting interrupted. Fortunately, there’s a lot to talk about. Also fortunately, most of it doesn’t make sense. Luis Bunuel’s 1972 mind trip through the comedy of the middle mindset features high murder rates, priests who want to be gardeners, and a whole lot of speaking in French. Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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Culture Warrior

Culture Warrior is our weekly walk on the wild side with actual film school graduate (now with even more Doctoral candidacy!) Landon Palmer. In this week’s installment, he takes on the biggest film of the summer, name drops Andre Breton, and tackles the notion of art dealing with the real world. Not that Armond White’s anti-for-anti’s-sake, straw-man-constructed brand of film criticism deserve the merit of serious examination, but there was something in White’s review of Inception that struck me as particularly problematic…

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SebastianGutierrez

We wanted to get inside the mind of director Sebastian Gutierrez by finding out his Top 5 films, and he somehow managed do so while naming over a dozen other films. From Bunuel to Gilliam, find out who inspires one of the weirder writer/directors out there.

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Every Sunday, Film School Rejects presents a film that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This Week, Old Ass Movies Presents: Los Olvidados.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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