Saturday, July 17, 2010

[screenings] Guilty Pleasures- Bunuel in Mexico

“They have called Buñuel everything—traitor, anarchist, pervert, defamer, iconoclast. But lunatic they dare not call him.”

- Henry Miller

Once you have passed along the staircase that spirals through five chambers, each one consecutively diametrically challenged than the one below, you ascend to the terrace of the Tower of the Senses. It a great heady rush to come out the top, the walls give away, the sky descends upon you, the wind is punch drunk and watch out! You may not want to land straight into a bird’s flightpath. Many have reached here, (the floor is cut in with initials that recount the entire alphabetical order many times over) but most struck either by vanity, ambition, fear or lack of imagination or a bit of it all put together have only looked skywards and remarked on how the tower could do with a little more loft. They have taken in the expanse of the sky, the weave of the constellations, the dark yonder without realizing that they could have done so from the ground itself if they had permitted their imagination to. Few have dared an attempt to look down the tower. When you do so, the effect is that of the inverted telescope. The sky now turns into sea and the teeming sea below now turns into the infinity that contains the spectacles to behold, one that plays out as an eclipse on terra. Luminous, iridescent, otherworldly, a vision that wild talons couldn’t tear you away from. A vision all the more stupendous for its tensions and paradoxes- of light and darkness, of forms and the formless, of words and the ineffable, of the part and the whole, of the minute and great, of fascination and fear, of life and death, of chaos that contains structure within and structure that gives away to chaos. The knack, and that its hard one to pull off is heard, is to take it all in, stand for a moment right outside the absurdities and note that the whole raging spectacle, the span of the eclipse itself is but a mere slip of existence.

The colorful Mr. Luis Bunuel even years after his films have been canonized has remained a most mercurial figure, precariously poised whenever an attempt is made to slot him in. If he is a surrealist, what of his earthy documentaries? If he is a humanist, what of his studied detachment? If he was an iconoclast, what of his spell in Hollywood? Was he an exile or a willing nomad? “I’m an atheist,” he once said,” Thank God.” He seems to be always outside paradoxes staring in. His images break the tyrannies of words and mores, images where devotion is tempered with desire, order with randomness, the surface with the entrails, beauty with rot, life with death, Apollo with Dionysus. In short Bunuel captures life and humanity as a beguiling abstraction and pins it to the cinema. Bangalore Film Society in association with FFSI, Southern Region and the Embassy of Mexico are proud to present the rarest films of a key phase in the life of the master. Presenting ‘Guilty Pleasures- Bunuel in Mexico

20th July, 2010 Time: 6.30pm

Mexico/1958/95 min/est/B & W/EST

Director: Luis Buñuel.

"Nazarin follows the great tradition of mad Spaniards originated by Cervantes. His madness consists in taking seriously great ideas and trying to live accordingly"
- Octavio Paz

In the Mexico of the beginning of the XX Century, the humble priest Nazarín shares his misery with the needy that live near the small town of Chanfa. After protecting a prostitute responsible for starting the fire that destroys the hostel, Nazarín is forced to flee the town. While he is travelling, the priest’s actions cause a series of conflicts that go against his vision of Christian charity.

22nd July, 2010 Time: 6.30pm

Mexico/1953/90 min/B & E/EST

Director: Luis Buñuel.

“Stop, shadow of my elusive beloved/ Image of enchantment that I most desire/ Beautiful illusion for whom I happily die/ Sweet fiction for whom I painfully live.”
- Juana Ines De La Cruz

When they find out that the 133 tram, where they have worked all their lives, is being retired from service, Caireles and Tarrajs get drunk and decide to steal it. During the night they give service to an eclectic group of people that include a catrin, a couple of nuns, a teacher with his students and a couple of rake workers. The next morning, Caireles and Tarrajas try to take the tram back but they are faced with the obstinacy of Papá Pinillos, a retired inspector that is set on turning them in to the authorities.

23rd July, 2010 Time: 6.30pm

Mexico/1949/90 min/B & W/EST

Director: Luis Buñuel

"Responsibility is a heavy responsibility."
- Cheech Marin

Synopsis: The rich and drunken widower Ramiro allows his children Virginia and Eduardo, his good for nothing brother Ladislao and his sister in law Milagros, to exploit him. Desperate, his brother Greogorio decides to make them all believe that Ramiro is ruined and that the family has to work to survive.

24th July 2010

Mexico/1951/85 min/B & W/EST

Director: Luis Buñuel.

“The two elements the traveler first captures in the big city are extra human architecture and furious rhythm. Geometry and anguish."
- Federico Lorca

In a small coast town, young Oliverio is forced to interrupt his honeymoon because his mother, Doña Ester, is dying. She asks Oliverio to go to Petatlan to look for Mr. Figueroa, so that he can write her will. Oliverio begins his trip in a beaten up bus, driven by Silvestre. During the trip, the young man has to overcome all sorts of unforeseen events and Raquel’s insinuations, a sensual and flirty woman set on having sex with him.

25th July 2010

Mexico/1951/80 min/B & W/EST

Director: Luis Buñuel.

"That's the nature of women, not to love when we love them, and to love when we love them not."
- Cervantes

Synopsis: When he discovers his wife’s infidelity, Quintin kicks her out of the house. While she’s leaving, she screams at him that their daughter is the result of her adultery and she is not really his. Embittered, Quintin abandons the girl with Lencho and his wife Toña. Many years later Maria convinces Quintin hat she lied about his paternity and tells him he must go back to look for his daughter.

Venue: Ashirvad, 30, St. Mark's Road cross, Op. State Bank of India


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