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The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie 15

Part of Who is Luis Buñuel?
Luis Buñuel, France, 1972, 102m.

*The screening on Sunday, February 11 will be introduced by Dr. Tom Whittaker.

*During the Discreet Charm of The Bourgeoisie screenings, The Garden Cinema bar will be serving the "perfect" dry martini cocktail as devised by Luis Buñuel.

In Luis Buñuel’s deliciously satiric masterpiece, an upper-middle-class sextet sits down to a dinner that is continually delayed, their attempts to eat thwarted by vaudevillian events both actual and imagined, including terrorist attacks, military maneuvers, and ghostly apparitions. Stringing together a discontinuous, digressive series of absurdist set pieces, Buñuel and his screenwriting partner Jean-Claude Carrière send a cast of European-film greats—including Fernando Rey, Stéphane Audran, Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and Bulle Ogier—through a maze of desire deferred, frustrated, and interrupted. The Oscar-winning pinnacle of Buñuel’s late-career ascent as a feted maestro of the international art house, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is also one of his most gleefully radical assaults on the values of the ruling class.

Tom Whittaker is Reader in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Warwick. He has published widely on Spanish film, with much of his recent research focussing on sound in Spanish film and culture. He is the author of The Spanish Quinqui Film: Delinquency, Sound, Sensation (Manchester University Press, 2016) and co-edited Performance and Spanish Film (Manchester University Press, 2016).

Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier

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  • This is a hugely entertaining, wickedly funny satire. Bunuel plays with his well turned out, heartless group of diners like a cat with a wounded bird. I hadn’t seen it since its release in 1972 and every delicious swipe at these entitled buffoons came flooding back. It hasn’t aged one tiny bit, it looks gorgeous and the cast is terrific. Cinema heaven.