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).
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