Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
Another film masterpiece by the director of the prize-winning 'The Young and the Damned'
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…
A man's paranoid and volatile behavior comes to the fore after his marriage to an obedient woman in this elegant thriller from Bunuel's Mexican period. Not on the level of Los Olvidados but a fine effort nevertheless. It may remind Fassbinder fans of Martha.
A man projects his paranoia into every encounter he faces, for the stress of demanding a justice upon the world that he never received himself drives him to forsake everything to satisfy his lunacy. Another masterwork from Buñuel's Mexican period.
p.s. Hitchcock definitely 'Tarantino'd a certain scene from this film.
"El" fits more nicely in Bunuel's filmography than the other film he made in 1953 ("The Brute") does. It's polished. It's about a decadent deviant with a Madonna/ whore complex. Shoes galore! Hell, even a priest gets strangled.
From Buñuel’s fertile period of activity in Mexico comes a supreme study of jealousy and possession which would make a tremendous double bill with Fassbinder’s similarly themed masterpiece Martha.
The picture has narrative strength in abundance and the director deserves praise for his ability to give depth to the melodramatic storyline.
A great achievement and almost certainly an influence for a famous scene in Hitchcock’s Vertigo..
After a whirlwind romance, a woman discovers her wealthy husband is a psychotic, possessive, jealous maniac. Luis Buñuel, one of the world's foremost wits, trades in, without abandoning, wit for fear in 1953's "Él." The comparisons to "Vertigo" have been frequently noted and for good reason. Buñuel dives into paranoia and possession with his trademark surrealism for a crazed, staggering work of fiction.
Much of the film's success rides on the tremendous performance by Arturo de Córdova who skillfully balances mania, rage, and sadness with ease. de Córdova struts through the film fully aware that he owns it. He's engrossing and magnetic. He dares you to look away from the screen.
What does stop the film from being very great…
After a woman marries a man after a whirlwind courtship, she finds out he is abusive, jealous and more than a bit paranoid. I have seen films about abusive relationships and about spousal abuse before but never this harrowing, surprising, frightening and even almost wickedly funny in parts. Arturo de Cordova as the husband ultra-possessive of his beautiful new wife is astounding. You alternately feel sorry for him and hate him at the same time, just like his wife does! This is yet another fine work from one of cinema's masters and one of my personal favorite filmmakers.
"When a man talks with his heart, he cannot lie."
Luis Bunuel's El is a tightly wound thriller, a gripping account of the power of the male gaze. The film begins with a masterful, wordless sequence set in a church. Parishioners crowd about the altar to ogle as the padre ritually washes the feet of newly confirmed boys. Bunuel's camera captures with precision the details of the ritual. Deacon places basin, deacon fills with water from pitcher, boy lowers feet into basin, padre splashes water on feet, deacon proffers towel, padre dries feet with towel. Finally, the ritual concludes with a solemn, sensual kiss on the foot. Deacon removes, empties basin. Da capo al fine.
Perhaps moved by this podiatric…
Una de las cintas en donde Buñuel puso más de sí (hasta la forma de caminar del protagonista es la del director)Francisco, rico, con buenos modales, hombre de mundo y de iglesia, conoce a Gloria, perdidamente enamorado, Francisco encuentra la manera de casarse con ella y así dar inicio a un verdadero infierno.Los celos, la obsesión y el egoísmo lo llevan a perderse entre temores, sueños y realidad. Un trabajo actoral plausible en donde una vez más nos deja de manifiesto lo más oculto de la clase fina y una que otra verdad a lo que se refiere en relaciones de pareja.
It has some nice, weird stuff in it, but the story is a little too thin and there's not enough dramatic tension.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…
GDT has recently joined twitter, and has started tweeting a series of films he describes as " A daily list…