Director: Luis BuÃ±uel
In The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz., Mexico's great director, Luis Bunuel, continued his investigation of psycho-sexual aberrations and false moral values — a remarkable comedie noire containing almost all the features of its director's unique personality. A small boy who sees his governess shot dead before his eyes, grows up the victim less of a traumatic shock than of a rich, doting, bourgeois family background. He is convinced that he is destined to be a murderer of women, but is continually baulked each time he tries to put his conviction into practice. To satisfy his abnormality, he melts life-size wax effigies of his intended victims in a furnace.
Despite a small budget and the addition of an unplanned commercial ending the film remains one of Bunuel's most enjoyable macabre oddities — a tragi-comic variation of the paranoic theme. Unlike the rest of Bunuel's gallery of hidden, hypocritical, or open scoundrels, Archibaldo's only calling in life is to become a scoundrel; but he is constantly and easily forestalled by all the more conventional scoundrels of everyday life. The film lends itself to various interpretations, but for all its controversial nature Bunuel's picture has a comparatively direct purpose — to present a mystery and, at the same time the key to it.
A typically cool and yet piquant flavour resides throughout in this rich mixture of real and abstract, real and imagined; with a perfect balance maintained between morbid wit and blood-stained drama by keeping the macabre elements this side of unpleasantness. Though camerawork, music and sets all effectively underline this balance, Bunuel seems to care little about the formal shape of his picture. Sudden flashbacks people and threads of narrative pop up as anarchically as do his characteristic objects — blades, insects and dummies. Dullish dialogues with actors stagily grouped alternate with purely cinematic visions; each camera set-up is exploited to the utmost. What he obviously does care about however, is conveying his distinctive view of a savage disillusioned and rebellious humanism through a hypnotically powerful imagery; and, in fact, this film provides yet another reminder that Bunuel is one of the few truly individual visionaries of the cinema.
Cinema Dali France/SpainWith the total cooperation of the Salvador Dali Foundation, director Xavi Figueras' investigative documentary reorganises and returns to the screen the cream of over 40 hours … More »
Strongly influenced by psychological thought, the film purports to be a revelation of Dali's subconscious experiences. An attempt to show a subjective analysis of the subconscious, the film consists … More »
Los Olvidados (meaning the forgotten ones) was made in Mexico City slums with mostly non¬professional young actors whose talents lie in their simplicity, their obedience to brilliant direction (f… More »
Luis Bunuel's film is a kind of summary of his style and his ideas. It is a truly great film. John Huston called it a masterpiece on the level of Bicycle Thieves, Bardem declares that its final scene… More »
Bunuel used an island off the coast of one of the southern states to make this film about a Negro on the run - a story of innocence and corruption. ... The film's simple plot transcends its one local… More »