Archive for December 18, 2020

Bunuelian

Posted in FILM with tags , on December 18, 2020 by dcairns

Picked up a copy of the old Pelican paperback Film Makers on Film Making. Essays and the like by Edwin S. Porter, D.W. Griffith, Chaplin, Stroheim, Vertov, Cocteau, Resnais, etc.

But Luis Bunuel is the guy who actually blows the roof off. By comparison, everyone else seems to be on their best behaviour. I think I’ll probably post some quotes from the rest — Griffith “predicting” what cinema and society will be like in 2024 is of possible interest — but I have to start with Don Luis.

Octavio Paz has said, “But that a man in chains should shut his eyes, the world would explode.” And I could say: But that the white eyelid of the screen reflect its proper light, the Universe would go up in flames. But for the moment we can sleep in peace: the light of the cinema is conveniently dosified and shackled.

AND

In my opinion, the real responsibility for the spiritual stagnation of cinema lies with the amorphous mass, routinary and conformist, that makes up the audience. The producer limits himself merely to throwing to the beasts the food they demand of him.

AND

The true ‘opium of the audience’ is conformity; and the entire, gigantic film world is dedicated to the propagation of this comfortable feeling, wrapped though it is at times in the insidious disguise of art.

(Italics mine.)