Archive for October 9th, 2012


by Ed Howard

The Exterminating Angel is Luis Buñuel’s most darkly funny and vicious satire of upper-class mores, an eviscerating portrait of how easily the façades of civility, nobility and good manners can be broken down. The film’s famous premise involves a dinner party for a group of wealthy friends after an opera, hosted at the opulent mansion of Edmundo (Enrique Rambal) and Lucía (Lucy Gallardo). Everyone arrives in high spirits, talking and laughing. In fact, in one of Buñuel’s first surrealist intrusions into the surface of the film, the guests actually arrive twice in quick succession, the same scene playing out two times before the guests are allowed to go upstairs. Once there, they find that all the servants have left, without explanation, leaving only Julio (Claudio Brook) to serve dinner and perform all the other necessary tasks. So the party keeps subtly slipping off the rails right from the start. Edmundo gives a toast twice, though this time instead of the scene playing out the same way with each repetition, the host finds that the second time around everyone has completely ignored him. When the waiter comes to serve the first course, which Lucía has announced with much hype and enthusiasm, the servant trips and falls, splattering the meal all over the nearby dinner guests. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(UK 1962 60m) DVD1/2

Aka. Elgar – Portrait of a Composer

We walk like ghosts

p  Humphrey Burton  d  Ken Russell  w  Ken Russell, Huw Wheldon  ph  Kenneth Higgins  ed  Alan Tyrer  m  Edward Elgar

Peter Brett, Rowena Gregory, George McGrath, Huw Wheldon (narrator),

It seems strange to think that when Ken Russell’s groundbreaking and career pointing dramatised documentary went out in 1962, the lives of composers on screen was limited to cinematic biopics such as the awful A Song to Remember and Gance’s moody Un Grand Amour de Beethoven.  Half a century on we can look back and see it as a watershed; without it we wouldn’t have had the other Russell composer pieces on large and small screen that would occupy most of his work for the next decade or so.   (more…)

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