Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie

Director Luis Buñuel / 1972 / France/Italy/Spain

This delightful comedy revolves around a group of six chic, upper-middle class men and women who find themselves unable to disentangle themselves from their own thoughts, beliefs, fears, memories and dreams. They go from frustrating situation to frustrating situation in search of a meal they never manage actually to eat. Buñuel asks: Are they prevented by their own fantasies? By their lack of purpose? By their discreet charm? He never really lets us know and manages to skip through some very funny scenes. The most memorable of these concerns a gardener-Bishop, who, after hearing the confession of a dying man admitting to poisoning the Bishop's very own parents many years before, gives him absolution and then takes out a shotgun and kills him. One of Buñuel's final films and winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, this is a masterpiece infused with the director's trademark wicked sense of humour.

"As I drift toward my last sigh, I often imagine a final joke. I convoke around my deathbed my friends who are confirmed atheists as I am. Then a priest, whom I have summoned, arrives, and to the horror of my friends, I make my confession, ask for absolution of my sins and receive extreme unction. After which I turn on my side and expire. But will I have the strength to joke at that moment?"—Luis Buñuel

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