That Obscure Object of Desire


Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina,

Three years after renouncing filmmaking, Luis Buñuel returned with his final treatise on passion, perversion, and the irrationality of human desire. A seemingly well-heeled elderly gentleman (Fernando Rey) dumps water on a young woman boarding a train, leading to some increasingly bizarre flashbacks documenting a relationship defined more by repression than passion, incomprehension than understanding. (Buñuel even features two separate actresses as “that obscure object of desire.”) Buñuel’s last film encapsulates his own career obsessions: “the ravages of love, the liberating force of desire, the hatred of repressive elements, the mocking of taboos, reality as dream-state, the surrealist incongruity of chance” (World Film Directors).

Event Accessibility

If you have any questions about accessibility or require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us at or call us at (510) 642-1412 (during open hours) with as much advance notice as possible. More information on accessibility services.

  • Luis Buñuel
  • Jean-Claude Carrière
Based On
  • the novel The Woman and the Puppet by Pierre Louys

  • Edmond Richard
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 103 mins
  • Rialto Pictures