A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
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.
A winding, inescapable nightmare separated by emptiness. If this wasn't so harshly hilarious it would be impossible to take in, mainly because entitlement doesn't seem like a topic to showcase without a certain measure of levity. Its structure, beginning like an awkward play of misunderstandings, soon dissolves into a satirical depiction of grating realities, utilizing the energy of chaos as a contrast between the consistently still and contained imagery. Even the most surrealistic incident within this dreamlike series of events carries an unflinching eye, viewing all the strange and despicable behavior like a curious animal; wide-eyed and casually attentive.
Don't you hate it when restaurants run out of water?
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.
Is it real life??? Is it a dream sequence???
Who the fuck knows, it's un film de Luis Buñuel
This came in the outstanding 10-DVD boxed set 'Rialto Pictures: 10 Years', one of the finest things I've bought from The Criterion Collection (and a great deal too, one I'd heartily endorse).
I had to wait an entire day, after watching the dreadful 'Disaster Movie', to get the acrid taste out of my mouth to watch this one, by my fourth favourite director ever ('Viridiana' is still probably my favourite of his, though). Luckily it had three of my favourite French actors from the period, in Bulle Ogier (just check out 'Maitresse' if you don't understand why), Delphine Seyrig and Fernando Rey (for the two 'French Connection' films alone)--even though for a director of Bunuel's strength, any actors could have…
In The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoise, the upper crust of society play gratuitous caricatures of themselves as utterly detestable people doing vile things who also happen to be on the receiving end of a cosmic joke out to give them the runaround by refusing them the opportunity to sit down together and eat dinner. In between all of this is a blurry barrage of loosely connected scenes subtlety and hilariously exposing the inherent hypocrisy and vapidity of the entitled. Not a beat is missed in this superb fantasy of surreal proportions as yet the second entry of dinner themed entries in Buñuel's filmography is another wonderful success.
The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie is a masterful blend of dream surrealism and absurd humor that only the immensely talented Luis Buñuel could bring.
Watched in April 2011
When a group of upper class bourgeoisie friends arrive for a dinner party only for the host to announce they have the wrong night they venture out to find a meal finding themselves at a restaurant whose owner has died yet they open anyway. There follows a series of encounters between the friends as they meet up for various social events involving dinners, where inexplicably they are interrupted by more and more bizarre situations.
These gatherings are interspersed with accounts told by strangers of situations that also seem to have nothing to do with the main characters and gradually the film becomes more surreal as events that seem to occur turn out to be dreams.
[metacinema, affluence, social stratification, crime, religion, poverty]
The Exterminating Angel but with added humor and dream sequences. Some truly hilarious moments, but still pretty boring and unambitious.
Perhaps the funniest Bunuel I have seen, though he could probably attack this target in his sleep. What really kicks this up a notch is the dark, horrific undercurrent he brings in through dream sequences and apparitions.
The ghostly dream interludes are genuinely disconcerting, and undercut the comedy to suggest the existential angst at the heart of all of Bunuel's satire. Essentially "this is wrong, but I don't know what's right." He's wandering around in a world that baffles him, no purpose provided to him other than to remind the corrupted that, they too, will eventually die.
I have to be honest, the humour in this film just didn't connect with me.
hysterical and - although possibly somewhat dated - capricious ....
"you just insulted the Republic of Miranda!"
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