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Jeremy's Movie Reviews (16)

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3.5/4
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Exterminating Angel, The ( ángel exterminador, El ) 
Maybe Bunuel's best?
4/4 stars

A film that perfectly characterizes everything that is Luis Bunuel, The Exterminating Angel is a full fronted attack against the society which he despised. From the beginning, we see a group of dinner guests who emanate superficiality and constantly flaunt their wealth. They appear to hold their manners at a high value, but Bunuel reveals the hidden truth of their evil. The dinner guests find themselves inexplicably unable to leave a room for days on end. We see their facade of grace disintegrate before our eyes as we see the reality of their nature. They are sick, violent, hateful, sacrilegious, and immoral beings. Without the luxury of their wealth, the upper class is shown to be a despicable group who care nothing for the well being of anyone but themselves.

The Exterminating Angel is attack on the wealthy, the religious, and even Franco's dictatorship in Spain (its in the subtext). At the same time, it is a revealing statement on human nature. Are humans inherently good? Or do we only appear good to uphold the manners and etiquite which we have been taught? Bunuel sides with the latter and does so in surprisingly good taste.

While the political and class criticism are there, this film is ultimately a comedy which examines a bunch of rediculous and idiosyncratic characters put under the most bizzare of circumstances. In typical Bunuel-ian fashion, the hyper surreal is blended with reality without the slightest of hesitation. It is stylistic, comedic, artistic, and profoundly interesting at the same time. It easily ranks among Bunuel's best and among the most important surrealist films of all time.


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