Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Seeing this film a few years ago makes me a Luis Buñuel fan. Buñuel was a close friend of Dali when studying in Spain. I became obsessed with surrealistic film, for it presents to us a dream-like reality full of seemingly absurdity and disturbance, which is nevertheless speaking of the truth. In a sense, such a reality is more real than everyday reality.

The repeated theme of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is about a dinner planned by a group of bourgeois friends however always gets ruined by unexpected occurrences. There is always something peculiar or mislocated happening. Satirically enough, every time the part for explanation is wiped off by some suddenly arising noise, reality nevertheless keeps running well within this ignorance. It seems for the Bourgeoisie the symbolic order is a joke played by itself though its meaningless interpretations and faked grace.

The chronological narrative is often interrupted by scenes of brutality such as a military lieutenant’s description about his mother’s tragic death, the ambassador’s dream of being killed by the antagonists. (a story within a story theme) These nightmares precisely represent the intrusion of the real. Sometimes the audience is confused about the boundary between the realistic and surrealistic in the film, it renders the very fragility and contingency of life.

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