Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.
What can I say; I think I’ve found a new favourite director after a single film.
Buñuel has the same high regard for both his characters and audience alike. Like a cat with a mouse, he toys with them; tosses them up in the air, bats them about a while, then sits back and watches them wobble and stumble about; all the time his tail gingerly flicking. Just when you think you have your bearings; and escape into a lush field of meaning is within grasp; he pounces again.
I’ve read that Buñuel was an accomplished hypnotist in his youth, and that he believed that the movies were a form of hypnotism. I believe it; I’m still in a trance.
When I first heard the title, I thought, "Finally! Someone's going to tell the truth about the bourgeoisie!" What a disappointment. It would be hard to imagine a less fair or, or accurate portrait.
Hard to quantify the cumulative satirical force this movie brings to bear, as it maintains the same level of genial drollery from start to finish. I always start out mildly amused, wind up gobsmacked...but it seems entirely possible that shuffling the scenes at random would have much the same effect. It's just a single pointed joke that gets funnier and funnier, abetted by a sextet of actors who refrain from any winking or nudging—Bulle Ogier in particular achieves maximum vacuity without calling attention to herself…
Another Buñuel and again I must rhyme;
Appropriate since it's much weirder this time.
Though unlike before where things start with the feast
In ...Charm it seems eating's like sex to a priest:
Forbidden, taboo, and declined against will
Though suffering fools keep attempting their fill.
A sextet of dilettantes (much like before)
Discuss what is proper, indulgent, and more.
But there where 'society' deemed what is right,
Cocaine/infidelity/murder's our plight.
A strange set of morals; I guess that's the key
To poke fun at people more, well, discreetly.
Their wealth and their social esteem's much less clear
And so is their odd way of showing good cheer.
Confounded by knocking at every turn,
That damned door's bad luck, yet…
Luis Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie portrays the impossibility that a group of high society faces in achieving a dinner. It works as a fantastic and virulent satire on bourgeois, resulting in one of the best and most effective comedies of all time, led by a very dark humour that may not please everyone and filled with Buñuel's typical surrealism. It's amazing how the film manages to balance a satiric realism - by portraying bourgeoisie's habits, manners and behaviors - with a very clear surrealism which is mainly used to create some very effective metaphors over that social class.
Many people try to decrypt Buñuel's films, but they will never get to a general conclusion because his films…
You're better qualified for love than war.
- Don Rafael Acosta
My experience with Luis Buñuel so far has been quite a mixed bag. I'm not sure whether it's because I tire easily of his constant sardonic denouncement of the bourgeoisie and organised religion, or if it's simply something such as his scripts. Either way, there have been films of his that I've enjoyed and those that I haven't.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a series of vignettes telling us of the constantly interrupted attempts of a group of six-middle class people trying to dine together. Although they seem unconnected there are common threads between them all as well as some continuing sub-plots. And it is a fun…
Holy bejeezus, what an odd film. I mean truly odd. Not in the Lynch way, though, but in some completely new way. Sometimes it plays out like a Monty Python skit. Sometimes it feels like French New Wave. Sometimes it feels like a laugh track is missing. Sometimes it comes this close to slapstick but without the pay-off. It is definitely satire, though, that much I can say with confidence. The film pokes fun at so many things it could be (and probably has been) the subject of many a PhD dissertation.
I honestly can't write a review of it, at least not without spending way too much time I don't have right now reading about it.
All I can say is it is truly odd, and compelling and engaging and I loved it. I really loved it.
Complete and utter absurdism to the point that one viewing doesn't give it much justice. My rating is subjective to how much I got out of said viewing (whether it be enjoyment or something to think about, both of which the film certainly offered) and in complete honesty my ratings don't mean all that much anyway.
I enjoyed The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie sporadically. It doesn't exactly follow a traditional narrative besides a group of middle-class bourgeois constantly being interrupted from having a meal together. The most entertaining and thought-provoking of these interruptions for me would have been the surrealist portions, especially the ones involving dreams. I can't for the life of me tell you what any of this…
Fantastically surreal, unique and engaging.
Luis Bunuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a film that demands nothing less from its audience than a complete suspension of disbelief. Thankfully, due to the film's great sense of atmosphere and style, the audience is effortlessly immersed within the film's world.
Dreams within dreams, false realities and narratively hypocritical plot developments make Bunuel's work more in the vein of Mulholland Dr or Eraserhead than say, La Regle du Jeu. This isn't to say the film isn't extremely critical of the upper class way of living, but that comes second to the uncanny mood and atmosphere.
A beguiling and slightly disturbing look at the lives of the French bourgeoisie, presented in an entirely thought provoking and unique way. Excellent surrealist filmmaking.
mildly horny at parts. still a masterpiece, despite its low rating on the horniness scale.
Sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air and say “I just don't get it.”
What's weird about this film (other than its surrealism) is just how accessible it is. The surrealist work of an artist is something not many can enjoy, but The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is really funny.
Bunuel pokes fun at the bourgeoisie and (less so, but still) organized religion by mocking their hypocrisy and toying around with a group's attempt to eat a meal. I'm not completely familiar with Luis Bunuel's other films, but I can only presume that the criticism on these things isn't isolated to this film.
It's certainly something I need to watch again to fully appreciate, but from first impressions I thought it funny and layered.
Best parts were the Sergeant's two stories. Horrifying and symbolic, they introduce an element of explicable meaning into the meaningless and absurd lives of the bourgeoisie.
The no-way-near-of-being-discreet charm of a bourgeoisie portrayed perfectly by the film's lack of course. One of Buñuel's best work, which is not quite easy to designate.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A three affluent couples have a series of aborted attempts to have a meal together. Odd circumstances, co-incidences and events conspire to prevent this. Some of the sequences are dreams, others real but the group continue to make progress along an unmarked road that appears to be going nowhere....
Bunuel's surreal and largely plotless movie is considered a classic and certainly gives the audience lots to conjecture about. While much of the film is comic in tone there are sections which are somber or even disturbing. The characters are often vain and self serving and deliberately unsympathetic.
As a viewing experience this is really only going to work if you want to spend time analysing what it does (or might…
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!