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Another film masterpiece by the director of the prize-winning
Francisco is rich, rather strict on principles, and still a bachelor. After meeting Gloria by accident, he is suddenly intent on her becoming his wife and courts her until she agrees to marry him. Francisco is a dedicated husband, but little by little his passion starts to exhibit disturbing traits. Nevertheless, Gloria meets with scepticism as she expresses her worries to their acquaintances.
Perhaps because there's a disturbing scene in a tower, I found myself thinking of Vertigo as I watched this. Perhaps the overall aura of paranoia that this film has just put me in mind of Hitchcock in general. Not so much a thriller as an oppressive anti-romance, El (which is very difficult to search for on this site--just jumped to Bunuel's director page to grab it; I will forever complain about such trivial things) is the story of a dark symptom of patriarchy. It's about double standards.
From the way Francisco pursues Gloria from the start, it's clear that he's a bit of a creep. He treats her like a prize to be acquired, and once he acquires her, he…
There’s no wit more severe than Luis Buñuel, aboard Freud’s train he envisions newlyweds poisoned by suspicion like a horrific anagram of Sturges’ comic honeymoon in The Lady Eve, that great forerunner of Vertigo. Before that, the camera briefly adopts the wandering eye of the wealthy, middle-aged bachelor (Arturo de Córdova) in church, panning ankle-level from the altar to the aisle and then tilting up from a pair of black pumps to reveal a demure beauty (Delia Garcés). Already engaged, she’s pursued into matrimony by this "perfectly normal and sensible man." (A clandestine kiss on a patio gives way to an explosion near a dammed river, a droll sledgehammer note.) The gentleman is respected by the institutions, romantic in his…
Something seemed to be off-kilter in the rhythm of the movie, till I realized at least one scene had been edited out -- the copy I used this time didn't have the sequence with the bicycle on the butler's bed. I didn't notice anything else that was missing, but I'm not going to try for a full reading this time, because of that...
On first viewing, the thing that most stood out for me was the dance scene, where Francisco pushes his wife to 'be nice to' the lawyer and then lashes out at her for being TOO nice. Something about the shot where Francisco's watching them dance sold me on the idea that Francisco was imagining himself dancing with…
Despite being relatively little seen, Él is arguably one of the most important and influential films ever made.
A darkly comic melodrama by Luis Buñuel, the film tells the story of the wealthy Francisco Galván de Montemayor, who one day notices a beautiful woman during a church service and becomes infatuated with her. Returning to the church in the hopes of finding her, Francisco sees her again and follows her, eventually meeting her and winning her affections. But as their relationship progresses, Francisco becomes increasingly overprotective of and paranoid toward his love, with culminates in a frightening and violent confrontation between the two.
In making the film Buñuel was probably trying to do little more than satirize bourgeoisie values and…
The priest washes the boys feet as Don Francisco looks on... The montage places him next to catholicism and his upper class it transplants repression with his own strange passion that in order for this man to manipulate his estranged lover first he must manipulate his own soul. He cages his love. He is no longer the man he was and further apart from the man he is supposed to be he loses touch with his identity he loses a way to look at himself.
The audience was howling from the get-go, as was I; it's hard not to. A dialogue-less church opening dollies in to isolate, in decidedly complicit fashion, a priest's washing and kissing young boys' feet with undeniably, outrageously lasvicious intensity. The camera/priest's gaze is transferred to Francisco (Arturo de Córdova), who scans the shoes of women sitting in the front pew before lighting on Gloria (Delia Garcés). This fetishized activity within a chuch (sacreligious, tellingly inherent to the setting, or both?) is followed by a seemingly endless series of absurd actions instigated by Francisco's motivationless, instant jealousy from the first night of his marriage. The sequence in which he's convinced a blameless Argentinian friend of his wife's is following and persecuting…
It has some nice, weird stuff in it, but the story is a little too thin and there's not enough dramatic tension.
Sirk via Bunuel. Arturo Cordova gives James Mason a run for his crazy money. Very fun.
El or This Strange Passion as it's known in America is an odd duck in Bunuel's filmography. One that features hardly any surreal elements and in facts, feels closer to a Douglas Sirk melodrama than a Bunuel surrealist drama. Still even with the director working in a more straightforward style this is a sharp and insightful piece on jealousy. What makes it even better though is that it's ending makes all the previous scenes seem more impacting. I want to watch it again with the ending in mind, but in the spirit of not spoiling anything I'm not going to go in further detail. Fans of the director should seek this out, and it wouldn't be a bad place for new comer's to start.
It's interesting looking at this movie through the lens of retrospect, having seen how many elements are repeated by Bunuel in his later, more farcically surreal ventures. But there are character compulsions, camera work, diagetic sounds, and so on, which repeat throughout his canon, with this repetition becoming apparent only when examined closely, owing largely to the myriad ways in which the repetition is disguised in his later works. The establishing shots with the train particularly stuck out to me as something surviving unscathed to his last few movies. Then there are aspects of possessiveness and imposition of the will which are on display, less refined, and without the assistance of distancing via farce or cryptic dialogues. This raw bareness of the setting aides in the construction of a more pervasive patriarchal structure, while simultaneously effortlessly relaying the paranoid claustrophobia that the eponymous "he" experiences.
EL, in Spanish means “he”, in this Buñuel’s film, he is Francisco (de Córdova), an unmarried middle age bourgeois man, who is first seen as an assistant during a church ceremony in Mexico City, he is pouring water in the basin when Father Velasco (Baena) prepares to wash the feet of a young boy, and a close-up is zoomed in as Father kisses the foot he just washed, before another shot aiming a pair of female feet, the svelte legs then reveals they belong to a fine-looking woman Gloria (Garcés), whom Francisco falls for at first glance, lust stems from the sight of a pair of feet. So in hindsight, the tongue-in-cheek reference of feet fetish not just insinuates one…
Primera película que veo de este director y definitivamente no será la última.
Aprovechando que es Septiembre ("mes patrio") estoy haciendo un maratón de películas mexicanas, y eligiendo una película al azar, el día de hoy salió "Él".
La película trata temas muy controversiales para la época en la que salió, como el divorcio, el deseo sexual y la obsesión enferma, además de la hipocresía de la iglesia. No me extraña que éste director y la escritora de la novela original fueran exiliados de España en tiempos de Franco, la película es bastante liberal en cuanto a los temas anteriormente mencionados.
Hay escenas buenísimas y muy bien logradas, nos muestran las percepciones de ambos personajes principales sutilmente, uno prácticamente no…
interesting character development, the rest of the movie: not as much
This is a bona fide classic, equal parts disturbing and hilarious. Arturo de Córdova kills it as Francisco, a jealous, pious scumbag who marries a woman that he lusts after in church (!) and proceeds to mentally torture, constantly accusing her of infidelity. When you step back and look at the premise, which is entirely about a man abusing his wife, it’s horrifying, yet Buñuel, that magnificent son of a bitch, packed so many laughs into it that it feels uniquely his. I rarely have the sensation of being both repulsed and delighted at the same time, but that’s Buñuel for you. The penultimate scene in the church has to rank among my favorite scenes from any film of his.
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of hight quality "short" films. Easy…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…