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El gran calavera (Spanish with French subtitles)
Main screening room
February 5th, 2023
91 min
Luis Buñuel - Exquisite torments

Luis Buñuel's career as a filmmaker spans nearly fifty years, from 1929 to 1977, from Un chien andalou to Cet obscur objet du désir. Divided between France, Mexico and Spain, flirting in turn with experimental, documentary, more commercial productions or poetic cinema, his protean work has never ceased to amaze, to disturb and to exert a strong influence. By articulating his cinema around the question of desire - impulsive, unfulfilled, thwarted or creative - Buñuel has succeeded like no other in scrutinizing the torments of the human soul, their share of mystery and violence as well as the delights that lie hidden within. Bringing together his most famous works, while giving pride of place to lesser-known films from his Mexican period, this cycle allows us to appreciate all the nuances of a filmography that, like Surrealist exquisite cadavers, cultivates a taste for contradiction, both in feelings and in cinematic language.

The Great Madcap
Directed by
Luis Buñuel
Spanish with French subtitles
Fernando Soler, Rosario Granados, Rubén Rojo
91 min
Drama, Comedy
35 mm

Don Ramiro, a very rich man, lives badly his widowhood. He consoles himself in debauchery and alcohol by spending his fortune without any limit. Although they are the first to benefit from the man's excesses, those close to him fear that he will be left penniless. Thus, the day after a drunken party, they make him believe that he is ruined. But Don Ramiro is not fooled...

The Great Madcap

Luis Buñuel

Born in 1900 in Aragon, Spain, Luis Buñuel studied with the Jesuits before moving to Madrid to attend university. There he met Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca, and became close to the Dadaist movement. In 1925 he moved to Paris and became the assistant of Jean Epstein. Influenced by surrealism, he directed, with the collaboration of Dalí on the screenplay, Un chien andalou and then The Golden Age. The latter was more widely distributed, but caused a scandal and inaugurated the long list of censorship acts that would be directed at Buñuel's works, regardless of the period, for their sense of provocation, their political scope and their independence of spirit. The filmmaker worked for a time in Spain, but the civil war broke out and he left for the United States, before finally going into exile in Mexico, where he shot most of his work for almost twenty years. From the 1960s onwards, he returned to France to film, beginning a fruitful collaboration with the screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, who co-wrote all of his last films. Since his death, Buñuel's work has continued to be one of the most influential of the 20th century.

Photo: Collections of the Cinémathèque québécoise

About Luis Buñuel
Jean-Luc Godard en 9 minutes - Blow Up - ARTE
Jean-Claude Carrière - Meeting Buñuel - Web of Stories (2010)
Interview with Luis Buñuel - Venise Film Festival (1967)
Cinéastes de notre temps - Luis Buñuel (1963)