2018-03-23 17:05:55[UPDATES]

Tribute To Masters: Works by Buñuel – A String of Obscure Daydreams

 

Tribute To Masters is a program initiated by Shanghai International Film Festival to present retrospective panorama of the works by prestigious and influential filmmakers across the globe. Commencing by Akira KUROSAWA, Pedro ALMODÓVAR and Marcello MASTROIANNI from the 10th edition of SIFF in 2007, in the past 11 years, Tribute To Masters has introduced to Chinese audience dozens of film masters who have achieved outstanding achievements and far-reaching impacts in the field of art.

The Swedish renowned film director Ingmar BERGMAN was the first master to be announced at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival. If Bergman's classic works have erected a series of paintings featuring painful portraits, the second master, on the contrary, had strung up an array of obscure daydreams for us.

He is the Spanish surrealism film artist Luis BUÑUEL (1900-1983). Together with Bergman, they were among the greatest movie directors in the 20th century.

 

 

In 1920, Buñuel founded the first movie club in Spain. In 1924, he moved to Paris, France, as an assistant to the French avant-garde director Jean EPSTEIN. In 1928, he and his close friend, the noted painter Salvador DALÍ, produced the film UN CHIEN ANDALOU (An Andalusian Dog) – the cornerstone of surrealist cinema.

Bergman had long settled on the island of Fårö, while Buñuel had been drifting from one place to another. Born in Spain, he had worked in Mexico, France, and the United States, resulting in his diverse styles: from the avant-garde in the beginning to the hybrid in intermediate years, then the “approaching tenderness” in the late phase.

As a director, screenwriter, producer, as well as a performer, he had created a number of signature works, including BEAUTY OF THE DAY, THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE and THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE, which are deemed as classics by generations of audiences. Among them, there are numerous celebrated artists, from directors Carlos SAURA, Roy ANDERSSON to writer Julio CORTÁZAR.

The surrealist scenes in Buñuel works have successfully revealed the deepest desires in human minds. He had won numerous nominations at the three top international film festivals in Europe, many of which turned into glorious awards, including two Career Golden Lion trophies at the Venice International Film Festival. It’s reasonable to say that Buñuel was not to receive acknowledgements from film festivals, but to define their artistic level.

 

 

This June, SIFF will bring six works by Buñuel to the viewers in Shanghai. They may not be sufficient to summarize the life-long achievements of Buñuel, but they open up a path to “daydreams” with the imagination and creation that tended to be stable at later stages.

 

Tribute To Masters: Screening List of Works by Buñuel

 

VIRIDIANA

DIARY OF CHAMBERMAID

BEAUTY OF THE DAY

TRISTANA

THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE

THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE

 

Film Introduction

 

VIRIDIANA 

Release year: 1961

Starring: Silvia PINAL/ Francisco RABAL/ Fernando REY/ José CALVO/ Margarita LOZANO

 

Profile:

A young nun Viridiana is about to take her vows. Her mother superior suggests her to visit her uncle Jaime, who has been providing financial support for her for a long time. When Jaime sees his niece, he is struck by her strong resemblance to his deceased wife. He asks her to marry him, and anesthetizes her when he is rejected. The next day, Jaime commits suicide. Viridiana decides to stay in uncle’s house, and collects some beggars and installs them in an outbuilding. At this time, Jaime’s bastard Jorge moves into the house with his girlfriend...

The film was the winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival.

 

DIARY OF CHAMBERMAID 

 

Release time: 1964

Starring: Michel PICCOLI/ Jeanne MOREAU

 

Profile:

The 1900 novel of the same name by Octave MIRBEAU was beloved by a number of directors, including Buñuel, Jean RENOIR, and Benoît JACQUOT, who created a rework just three years ago. Films adapted from the novel are always rendered a blunt force, impressing the audience in almost any era.

An educated and introvert young woman, Célestine, arrives from Paris to become chambermaid for a family at their country chateau in Provence. She soon discovers that it is a pretty erosive family, full of hypocrisy and quirks. Just when Celestine is about to leave here and return to Paris, a sudden murder changes her mind. Celestine decides to stay and figure out the truth.

 

BEAUTY OF THE DAY

 

Release year: 1967

Starring: Catherine DENEUVE/ Jean SOREL/ Michel PICCOLI/ Geneviève PAGE

 

Profile:

Séverine, a young and beautiful housewife, is unable to share physical intimacy with her husband. On afternoons when her husband is at work, she secretly works at a brothel, and is named “Belle de Jour (Beauty of the Day)”. At home, she is a noble and virtuous wife; in the brothel, she completely releases herself. Séverine meets many people there, including a young gangster, Marcel.

It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1967.

 

TRISTANA

 

Release year: 1970

Starring: Catherine DENEUVE/ Fernando REY/ Franco NERO

 

 Profile:

Tristana’s mother entrusts her to don Lope before she dies. The aging Lope lives a worry-free life. He has a strong character, and values honor, but is also a known lecher in the town. Tristana feels depressed in their home. In an outing, she meets a young artist, and falls in love with him. After learning about the situation of Tristana, the painter beats up Lope, and the two leave the town. Soon after, Tristana falls ill, and the painter could only seek help from Lope...

 

THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE 

 

Release year: 1972

Starring: Fernando REY/ Paul FRANKEUR/ Delphine SEYRIG/ Bulle OGIER/ Jean-Pierre CASSEL

 

Profile:

It is a story about a group of six bourgeois friends trying to organize gatherings, but constantly interrupted by accidents, thus failing to enjoy one delicious meal. They plan a total of 8 meetings, but none of them finally succeeds, due to a variety of reasons, such as misremembering the date of meal, the accidental encounter of a funeral, and the interference by a military drill. Later, things become more and more weird…

The film won an array of renowned awards, including the Best Foreign Language Film of Academy Awards 1973, and the BAFTA Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1974.

 

THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE 

 

Release year: 1977

Starring: Fernando REY/ Carole BOUQUET/ Ángela MOLINA/ Julien BERTHEAU

 

Profile: 

A French gentleman Mathieu is travelling by train from Seville to Paris. In the carriage, he meets a mother and a daughter, a dwarf and a friend of his cousin. Before the train starts, a woman hurriedly gets on the train with her luggage. Mathieu pours a bucket of water over her head, which puzzles other people there.

After returning to the carriage, Mathieu explains the history of the two: The woman is a Spanish maid working at his older brother’s house, Conchita. Her beauty has deeply attracted Mathieu. In order to show his love, he helps Conchita and her mother to get rid of financial difficulties, and then proposes to be her lover. She tantalizes Mathieu with promises, but never says yes to him. Conchita's antics cause the couple to break up and reunite repeatedly, which makes him very annoyed; especially when he discovers that the woman, who claims to be a virgin, actually has other lovers.

 
 

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