Simon of the Desert

Some people might consider it sacrilegious to DJ music over a sound film by Luis Buñuel, but it's hard to be more sacrilegious than this great director already is. Here, Buñuel mocks the mawkish St. Simon Stylites, who spent much of his life atop a tall column seeking salvation. Buñuel's wicked satire throws tasty temptation at the feet of the fasting saint. The devil (Silvia Pinal) appears in many guises-as an innocent girl rolling a hoop, a worldly harlot who bares her breasts, even as the Great Shepherd himself-trying to coax him from his penitential pedestal. While repelling these temptations, Simon must also disregard the crass needs of his adulators, who want cheap miracles and forgiveness for their failings. In the apocalyptic final moments, this wily fable of transcendence crucifies all of society, not just simple Simon.

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