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Le Fantôme de la liberté - (1974) Luis Buñuel

Related: hauntology - surrealist films - Luis Buñuel - film - phantom - 1974

Le Fantôme de la liberté - (1974) Luis Buñuel [Amazon.com]

Bourgeois couples discuss defecation around a toilet-lined table but consider "food" a taboo. They excuse themselves to eat food in private.

The title of the film is a homage to Karl Marx and Friederich Engel’s Communist Manifesto, specifically this quote of the opening sentence, “A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of Communism” (in French, spectre is translated as fantôme). This sentence refers to the way in which the idea of Communism was being used pejoratively by the authorities in the late 19th century to attack all political parties opposed to the established order (church, aristocracy and state). The Communist Manifesto was written to offer a positive vision of the views, aims and tendencies of Communists from across Europe. Buñuel and the Surrealists were closely linked to the Communists in the 1930s but by the 1950s he had developed a greater antipathy towards the party.


Le Fantôme de la liberté A film in which a series of chance encounters connects a number of disparate, mainly middle class, characters. The story progresses from one situation to the next with no real cause and effect or narrative resolution. It is difficult to summarise the story as the film intentionally attempts to disrupt the conventions of storytelling. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phantom_of_Liberty [Jan 2007]


One of Luis Bunuel's most free-form and purely Surrealist films, consisting of a series of only vaguely related episodes - most famously, the dinner party scene where people sit on lavatories round a dinner table on, occasionally retiring to a little room to eat. - Michael Brooke

Luis Bunuel's flair for perverse surrealism and his malicious attacks on conventional morality were fully realized in his second to last film, Le Fantome de la Liberte (The Phantom of Liberty), produced in France in 1974--almost fifty years after Un Chien Andalou. Fantome in many ways functioned as a sort of sequel to his 1972 film, Le Channe Discret de la Bourgeoisie (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie). The images are astounding and playfully absurd: Spanish hostages of the Napoleonic war cry "Down with Freedom!" as they are executed. A French lieutenant fondles the statue of a beautiful noblewoman and is struck on the head by another statue. Bourgeois couples discuss defecation around a toilet-lined table but consider "food" an impolite topic, and so on.--Bryan M. Papciak

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