Not a big Bunuel fan to begin with, but the film starts off well enough. Sadly it's a little repetitive, not all that funny and some moments are too on the nose. Not as weird, unique or crazy as some would have you believe, but it's not as bad as some of his other films.
A more straightforward film from Buñuel. That's not a bad thing mind, I'm not that big a big fan of Buñuel's more surreal films. Somehow they come off a bit too preachy and on the nose, though there's quite a bit of that here too. But at least characters just come out and say what they think, rather than having to peer at thinly veiled symbolism for an entire film.
The story revolves around Tristana, a young girl who is taken in by an old (and rather shabby) aristocrat. She is thankful for his help, but doesn't really appreciate his romantic advances. Even though she complies, there's a part of her that wants a different life, which she hopes to find with a local painter.
The cinematography is pretty dim, characters are rather stoic and the film seems void of any emotion. Characters are very talkative though and mostly express what they're feeling, which isn't really something I appreciate. The second half's a little better and the short runtime makes it bearable, but otherwise not a very interesting film.
A peculiar Buñuel project. Simon of the Desert was supposed to be a full-length feature, but it needed to be cut down to 45 minutes because the budget simply wasn't there. Even so, it feels like a 15-minute short stretched to trice its length. It also looks a lot older than its '65 production year suggests.
Simon is a very religious man who climbs a pillar to be able to live closer to God. There he spends his days being as devout as possible. The devil isn't really impressed by Simon's actions and with his many disguises he tries to get Simon down from his pillar. This proves a lot harder than expected though.
Simon of the Desert looks scruffy, like some low-budget late 30s/early 40s film. Performances are rather poor, the cinematography is drab and the music is simply horrible. But the mood is light and there are a few laughs that surprised me, as this is a side I hadn't seen from Buñuel before. Not a great film.
Buñuel and Dalí doing a film together, it sounds a lot better than it actually is. There are some funny ideas here, but overall the comedy is pretty bland and even though the film only lasts 60 minutes, it starts to drag during the second part. Buñuel's technique is still quite amateurish and the surreal elements don't really have the intended impact. Not great.
The shoddy black and white cinematography feels lacking, the narrative doesn't inspire any trust in the subject matter. Of course the approach by Buñuel, known as a surrealist, is vehemently defended by his fans, but I simply failed to see the point of this documentary. At least the footage might have some historic relevance, the rest feels nonsensical.