Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel, 1962)

Cast: Silvia Pinal, Enrique Garcia Álvarez, Jacqueline Andere, César del Campo, Nadia Haro Oliva

Summary: Guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.

Genre: Fantasy, Drama

This is another film that I studied in my A-Level Film class. For our exam we had to look at surrealism studies and we were asked, “How does Bunuel use surrealism in the film ‘The Exterminating Angel’ to attack the bourgeoisie?”

Bunuel attacks the bourgeoisie in several ways, one by using the characters within his film. The bourgeoisie were the social class opposed to the working class and this social class thought they were better and above everyone else.
However within The Exterminating Angel two of the characters, Francis and Juana are an incestuous brother and sister, who also steal and do drugs. There is also another character by the name of Letitia, who is nicknamed La Volkaria. In Norse mythology, valkyrie is one of a host of female figures who decided who will die in battle.

Luis Bunuel had a strict catholic education in Spain and in his later life he used surrealism within his films to attack both the middle and upper class and organized religion, with his main targets being the bourgeoisie and the Catholic Church.
The Exterminating Angle (1962) Still Surrealism is used in his films to make political statements about world. He attacked the institutions of the bourgeoisie as he believed the society was organized to benefit the bourgeoisie at the expense of the proletariat.

The characters at the party represent the bourgeoisie, who become stripped of their pretence and their true nature is revealed. Their behaviour is primitive and self-serving, worse than the proletariat that they look down upon and the depiction at the end of the film also shows Bunuel’s perception of the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church.

Louis Althusser called the institutions Luis Bunuel attacked Ideological State Apparatuses and they included the government, the legal system, the church, the military, the police, the education system, the media and the family.
He believed that the bourgeoisie exploited the proletariat, who were unaware of this. The ISA sought to promote exploitation between high and lower classes, this is the reason Bunuel chose to expose them within his films.

My Rating: 2/10
One Final Word: Odd

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