Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. Mexico, 1962. Producciones Gustavo Alatriste. Screenplay by Luis Bunuel. Cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa. Produced by Gustavo Alatriste. Music by Raul Lavista. Production Design by Jesus Bracho. Costume Design by Georgette Somohano. Film Editing by Carlos Savage. Cannes Film Festival 1962.
A group of high society members gather together for a dinner party full of witty conversation and extremely posh morality. The gathering finds itself at a standstill when the guests realize that a mysterious, magical force is preventing them from leaving the living room of the house that they are in. Trapped in the room for endless days, their baser natures and more animal instincts of survival are brought to the forefront while their aristocratic tendencies are put to rest. Bunuel’s message isn’t very hard to spot in this film, but it’s done with such zesty humour (witness the sheep running through the house) that its cracked but flagrant symbolism never feels insultingly obvious. It’s fantastic stuff, one of the master’s best.