The Exterminating Angel by Luis Bunuel
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
This is an absurd tale.
And I admit that I did not really like it all that much.
It is in part because of a lack of understanding:
A group of rich notability is trapped in a house.
Sounds reasonable and familiar?
Well, it isn't.
For there is no good reason for this immobility.
They are not kidnapped and there is no one to prevent them from going out
But the way to take this movie is not by being " sensible and looking for good reasons".
If we play along, there is something strange that makes servants abandon ship from the very beginning.
In this lavish house, a big dinner is prepared.
But the help is going off one by one.
They offer reasons.
One has a sick relative and another is going along with him.
But this is an announcement of the coming fiasco.
As a party of - I guess about fourteen or sixteen- guests come along, accidents happen.
Of course, there is a bear somewhere in the mansion.
And if you accept that as ordinary, what about the sheep?
With this, I established that this is going to be a surrealist offering.
Very unlike Belle de Jour, on which I have noted yesterday.
Even if that was rather strange, there were no bears or sheep roaming into houses.
In the big dining hall, a waiter slips with a big tray of food.
So the sophisticated party laughs.
But they will soon lack any reason for merriment.
The only servant left in the big house is the butler.
And the guests do not go home.
Indeed, they spend the night right were they are.
To the chagrin of the hosts.
After a while, the initial amicable atmosphere is replaced by tension.
And then outright conflict.
Accusations are flying.
The host is fingered out:
- It is your fault!
- Why did yo invite us?
- It was my pleasure...
- But why so sudden, after the opera.
They soon run out of food and water.
The pipes in the wall are broken.
In all this mysterious kerffufle, some act like gentlemen.
Let the women first!
Then the sheep are attacked as they enter the only room in which these people crowd together.
And the poor bear is climbing stairs and moaning.
They destroy all the precious furniture.
A fire is started in that room turned voluntary prison.
Overall, I did not get it.
So, if there were some good moments, for this viewer they wee overshadowed by the lack of sense.
Yes, I think I know that absurd theater and films like these make exactly this point:
That there is no point!
Life is absurd for many people.
And it could well be a satire.
And maybe one way to look at it is: These are all rich people and their spoiled lives are so absurd in their lack of touch with reality.