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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…
Christopher Nolan eat your heart out, because The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie has an even wilder dream-in-dream-in-dream-in-dream construction than Inception. The entire film revolves around sextet of middle-class friend who attempt to dine together, but who are repeatedly interrupted by the most mildly absurd circumstances that are nevertheless nonchalantly accepted by each of them, spawning a bizarre pseudo-world that constantly fools the audience. Starting off as merely amusing, the joke of the unachievable dinner plans builds and builds and builds into something much larger that gets funnier with every twist and turn. The same formula applies to the ‘side-stories’, such as the one centred on the alleged deprivation of the fictitious Republic of Miranda of which one of the…
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.
A stunning skewering of middle/upper class mores that is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Of Luis Buñuel's feature length work I had only seen the dreamy, insouciant Belle du Jour so I wasn't expecting the seemingly straight narrative that I was initially presented with. It is only as the film progresses that the surreal nature of the film really unfolds, the strangeness presented as jarringly at odds with the quotidian, almost stagy scenarios. In this it reminded more of Rene Magritte's use of juxtaposition than former collaborator Salvador Dali's self-reflexive dream logic.
Buñuel teases and torments his six protagonists in an ecstasy of delayed gratification, exposing their hypocrisies and leaving them unable to voice their frustrations due to the societal mores imposed on…
Hilarious! One of my favorites.
There really are a lot of ways to interrupt a dinner party. Clever, but to the point where it stabbed only at things that went too far in the past. The Exterminating Angel has less obvious cultural references, and Discreet Charms honestly seems like a set up for an especially good sitcom episode (more Arrested Development than HIMYM.)
Okay, so Jean Paul Sartre, Wes Anderson and Monty Python all go for dinner...
(I'm not sure what exactly the fuck I just sat through, but I loved it)
The ghost stuff is gonna give me the nightmare.
Dreams within dreams. Characters continually wake up and realize what has happened was not real, then other characters wake up and you realize even the wakeup was a dream. Hypocrisy, highfalutin posturing, condescension and more are the targets of Buñuel's film. I liked it. It was weird, and I certainly don't understand all of it, but there was enough here that made me want to come back later.
The bourgeoisie is haunted in its dreams by the contradictions it is caught up in. Walking off in the distance as jet fighters cry, the bourgeoisie will be consumed by the State it worships. Also, a delightful and often funny film.
I really like this film's title (among other things) because it sounds quite rhythmic. The film was written and directed by Luis Bunuel, which should be enough said. It's, in other words, often surreal. Similar to Belle de jour, it's hard to distinguish between what's meant to be 'real' about the narrative and what isn't. Pervading the film is the fears, desires and plain ennui of a small band of bourgeois friends during a series of dinner dates. It doesn't all make sense at all times, but I suspect Bunuel doesn't want the viewer to simply come away with a full understanding. That is to say, a little - or a lot - of uncertainty goes a way in keeping one interested in the film. Or frustrated with it. But certainly engaged with it.
hard to talk about this movie as more than a collection of scenes that range from pleasantly funny to hilariously absurd. dream sequences, flashbacks dedicated to tangential characters, terrorist plots and dinner party massacres all factor in. a bit too "photographs of people talking" at some points, although this lends even more power to the moments when things go completely nuts.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I don't understand this one. Being a foreign film, I was a little bit skeptical about the one, but it took that to a whole new level. This film really isn't funny (to me) because I felt like they tried to be, but failed. The whole dreams within a dreams thing was cool, especially since it was made in 1972 (way before Inception) but was just too damn confusing. Eventually it got old and predictable and I could tell that someone was going to wake up and dreamt all of this. Now the whole film just drug on and on. I clapped at the end because I knew it was over. There goes nearly 2 hours of my life I can't get back.
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