Friday, May 21, 2010

L'Age d'Or

(The Age of Gold) (1930, Luis Bunuel (1900-83)) (Almost silent)

The young director's second film, following Andalusian Dog, and on comparable lines. The fifteen minute montage of sombre, disturbing, violent images of the first film are expanded to an hour and we are treated to another series of bizarre visuals (in case the first left left you hungry for more). A colossal cow snores on an opulent double bed. Scorpions  fight to the death. Cardinals loom large as mountains, then dissolve into skeletons. A huge public gathering disperses like a hornet's nest struck by a stone. One of the initial sequences closely resembles the Gold Rush and that's presumably where the title comes from. The recurrently aborting erotic encounters of a couple runs like a tragi-comic thread through the film. The final section parodies Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom. Sexuality, violence, society, survival, clergy, perversion--an anguished and bleak view of  human nature and society from the enfant terrible. So much, so tightly packed.

Presumably the artist has tried to gather his vision of life and times into a compressed symbolism giving us an "uncarbonated" movie, well worth the hour long watch from a director who is to going to give us so much more.

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