Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Exterminating Angel

The Exterminating Angel is a 1962 Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Luis Buñuel. Guests at a formal dinner party find themselves inexplicably unable to leave. Bizarre, but then it's a surreal film, so I expected that.

(The video is over three hours long for some reason, but the film is just over an hour and a half and the rest of the video is dark. At 94 minutes, this is well worth watching.)

Slant Magazine says, "From the start, Buñuel is pointing out all manner of innate and prescribed modes of behavior, offering up this spectacle of human folly for our shocked bemusement." The Guardian calls it "one of the most disconcertingly profound films ever made." Senses of Cinema explores the film in a short essay best read after viewing the movie.

The NYT says, "In his customary fashion, Mr. Buñuel stages this play with cumulating nervousness and occasional explosive ferocities. He whips up individual turmoils with the apt intensities of a uniformly able cast; and he throws in frequent surrealistic touches". DVD Talk reviews the Criterion edition and says the film "is endlessly fascinating due to its labyrinthine concepts, but it's also an enigma compelling enough to spark actual desire to witness the material many times over," calling it "Surreal and utterly gripping, it's one of Buñuel's best - and a tour de force in its own right."

Roger Ebert gives it 4 out of 4 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 95% and an audience rating of 93%.

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