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90 Âge d'or, L' 
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Post Re: 90 Âge d'or, L'
L'Age d'Or is the 1930 collaboration of Bunuel and Dali (Dali dropped out by the time of filming) that is famous for inspiring art riots when it first appeared and was largely banned for 50 years. It must have been shown somehow because it clearly influenced later films, especially those of Cocteau and probably Fellini. It seems to have been conceived as a silent film, because there are large sections that play in silence. Dali more or less disowned the result, which plays much more as a Bunuel film anyway. In fact, Bunuel doesn't seem to have progressed much over the next fifty years, except for getting more accomplished behind the camera and the satire in later films being less to the point. In this, L'Age d'Or is helped by being just over an hour long. This film could probably been released about the time of The Exterminating Angel with much less shock and no riots.

The film is a series of several vignettes, connected by a theme of thwarted lust between the leading man (who seems to be more than a bit of a maniac) and woman, and a coda about an orgy that lasted 120 days (a reference to the Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom). Their lust tends to show up at inconvenient moments, such as during a pilgrimage to the site where some bishops died. (This is where the famous image of the decaying bishops comes in.) Later it surfaces during a dinner party and an assignation during an outdoor concert.

A big reason L'Age d'Or created such a fuss at the time was its satirization of the Catholic church, something that is much less shocking today than it was then. Today you almost have to make Antichrist to get the same reaction. Here the satire works better than in later Bunuel, where it often seemed to me like the old dog's heart wasn't in performing the old tricks. The pilgrimage scene here works particularly well, as does the point of the Vatican being the heir of pagan Rome in more ways than one. (The Duc de Blangis, who emerges from the murderous orgy at the end, strongly resembles images of Jesus Christ.)

Overall, this fits well into the Bunuel oeuvre, is more pungent than the later Bunuel films (except for The Exterminating Angel), and I have absolutely no idea why the cow was sleeping on the woman's bed.

Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles

Sat May 19, 2012 5:23 pm
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Post Re: 90 Âge d'or, L'
What a bitter, raging, virulent piece of filmmaking this is. Absolutely love it.

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:46 am
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