Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Viridiana (1961)

Cannes Film Festival 1961

Palme d'Or
Luis Buñuel
Tied with The Long Absence (1961).

Kingsley-International Pictures
Directed by  Luis Buñuel
My rating: 3.5 stars out of 4
(DVD, Criterion Collection)

Young Viridiana, about to take the vows to become a nun, takes a last minute visit to her uncle. Although she barely knows him, she is grateful for his financial support. However, her uncanny resemblance to his dead wife results in a rejected marriage proposal. Undeterred, he drugs her and plans to rape her, but changes his mind. When she wakes up, he tells her that he did anyway. The guilt causes him to commit suicide. She decides not take her vows and instead opens up the uncle's farmhouse to homeless beggars. Her uncle's illegitimate son and his girlfriend also move in to fix up the place. However, like his father, he lusts after Viridiana, leading to more tragedy. Best described as an "intellectual melodrama" the plot is complex and lurid. Bunuel's scathing attack on the church lurks constantly beneath, and sometimes above, the surface: a burning crown of thorns, the beggar's mocking Last Supper and Viridiana's own disillusionment.

No comments:

Post a Comment