Wednesday, 25 September 2013
The Phantom of Liberty 
Luis Buñuel, unlike most, sure went out with a majestic bang – his last three films, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty and That Obscure Object of Desire, together referred to as ‘Bourgeois Trilogy’, were among his greatest masterpieces. This was perhaps the most jaw-droppingly audacious, surrealistic, iconoclastic, absurdist, subversive, provocative, trenchant and accomplished work of the Spanish genius, and possibly the one most representative of his politics and aesthetics. A group of Spanish rebels extolling the virtues of chains as opposed to liberty while in front of the firing squad, an aged man supposedly sharing obscene postcards with two kids turns out to be pictures of famous architectures and monuments, an insomniac man being visited by a postman in his bedroom, a group of elegant and upscale people defecating in public and eating in private, a serial-killer being hailed as a hero, a missing girl assisting the police to trace her abduction, a nurse playing poker with a group of monks, a police Commissioner being replaced by a doppelganger, the army using a tank to hunt foxes, were some of the darkly ironic, humorous and witty vignettes in this wildly episodic film where the minutest of linkages and gleeful inversion of social conventions seamlessly joined unrelated set-pieces. Buñuel used a quintessentially deadpan tone and understated style for his searing commentaries on romanticism, religion, freedom, codified social norms, institutional decadence, political intolerance, pedophilia, incest, sexuality, and the bourgeois class, and a blow to the guts of traditional storytelling forms.
Director: Luis Bunuel
Genre: Black Comedy/Social Satire/Political Satire/Surrealist Film/Avant-Garde