Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie

Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie

5.0 2
Director: Jose Luis Lopez Linares, Javier Rioyo

Cast: Fernando Rey

     
 
One of Luis Buñuel's masterpieces, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is in beautiful form in this Criterion Collection two-disc DVD edition. The movie has never looked better outside the theater than it does in the pristine 1.66:1 print transferred here; it's as though it were filmed yesterday rather than in 1972. The Dolby Digital Sound is equally

Overview

One of Luis Buñuel's masterpieces, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is in beautiful form in this Criterion Collection two-disc DVD edition. The movie has never looked better outside the theater than it does in the pristine 1.66:1 print transferred here; it's as though it were filmed yesterday rather than in 1972. The Dolby Digital Sound is equally excellent, giving bold power to Buñuel's disturbing visions and scenarios. The subtitles appear in white text at the bottom of the movie's image, not in the black bar, and can be turned off. Bonus features are spread over an additional DVD. Disc one includes the movie and a 24-minute documentary titled "The Castaway on the Street of Providence," dating back to 1970. The documentary is more voyeuristic than enlightening, as too much time is spent on the personal life of Buñuel and his efforts to make the perfect martini rather than his great career. The three-minute theatrical trailer is redundant, and it gives away far too many of the movie's wicked surprises. Disc two features a second, more interesting documentary, "Speaking of Buñuel"; running 98 minutes, it encompasses reminiscences by cast and crew from many of Buñuel's films, as well as clips of those films. Disc two also includes a Buñuel filmography with country of origin and release date information as well. Both the movie on disc one and the documentary on disc two can be navigated by scene access menus that give instant access to the feature's 21 and 28 respective chapters via chapter titles. Given the great supplemental material, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie goes from being a great movie to an essential DVD title.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Make sure you've eaten before you see The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, or you're likely to end up as frustrated as the film's protagonists, who sit down at a seemingly endless succession of rather appetizing and vividly described lunches and dinners, but somehow never manage to get a bite in edgewise. There's actually not much more of a plot than that to Luis Buñuel's French-language masterpiece, just a Latin American ambassador (Fernando Rey) and his drug-dealing associates (Jean-Pierre Cassel and Paul Frankeur), two of the men's wives (Delphine Seyrig and Stephane Audran), one wife's sister (Bulle Ogier), and many, many meals that go uneaten because of mistaken dates, dead restaurant managers, police raids, and even military maneuvers. It's hard to keep track of what's real and what's a dream here, but the satire of upper-middle-class manners and mores is brilliant and devastating, and the wall-to-wall politeness is enough to make your skin crawl. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and it was well deserved: this classic film is original, sophisticated, hilarious, and utterly Buñuel.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/05/2000
UPC:
0037429154625
Rating:
PG
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[stereo, monaural]
Time:
1:41:00

Special Features

Disc one: New widescreen high-definition transfer of the film; The Survivor on the Street of Providence, a short documentary on Buñuel from 1970 by Arturo Ripstein and Rafael Castanedo; Buñuel's recipe for the perfect martini; original theatrical trailer; New, improved, and enhanced English subtitles
Disc two: A Proposito de Buñuel, a documentary feature by Jose Luis López and Javier Rioyo, based on Buñuel's autobiography, My Last Sigh; Buñuel filmography

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1
0. Side #1
0. Chapters
1. Opening Credits [:10]
2. A slight misunderstanding [:17]
3. The Ambassador of Miranda [1:36]
4. The guests can wait [:39]
5. The worker-bishop (a union employee) [6:58]
6. Cafe Sans Beverage [4:29]
7. Getting to know the lieutenant [3:25]
8. "It's your husband." [4:31]
9. "Forewarned is forearmed." [4:58]
10. A most unusual dream [1:56]
11. Stage fright [2:55]
12. The truth about Miranda [2:37]
13. The journey continues [3:47]
14. Forgive me father [4:50]
15. House arrest [:26]
16. Bloody Sergeant's Day [4:18]
17. "Release the prisoners." [3:45]
18. Dinner is served [8:09]
19. The ambassador's nightmare [1:05]
20. Onward [5:59]
21. End Credits [6:26]
Side #2
0. Chapters
1. Opening credits [2:28]
2. Beginnings [2:23]
3. Calanda [2:18]
4. The Bunuel household [1:29]
5. Discovering cinema [1:24]
6. Head of the family [1:51]
7. Early influences [:12]
8. Shenanigans [3:43]
9. Un Chien Andalou [3:58]
10. Surrealism [3:04]
11. L'age D'or [2:09]
12. Las Hurdes [3:14]
13. Jeanne [1:27]
14. Fascist threat [1:17]
15. New York [1:59]
16. Blacklisted [:26]
17. The Mexican films [1:15]
18. Los Olvidados [1:33]
19. Rebellion against the church [2:35]
20. "Thank God I'm an atheist." [4:39]
21. Simon Of The Desert [1:33]
22. "Dirty old man." [1:22]
23. "Theirs was a great love." [:14]
24. Rehearsal For A Crime [4:14]
25. Viridiana [3:08]
26. Another side of Bunuel [1:07]
27. The Exterminating Angel [3:35]
28. The importance of drink [1:08]
29. Tristana [1:55]
30. The perverse child [2:56]
31. Bunuel the director [1:51]
32. On actors [2:50]
33. That Obscure Object Of Desire [2:25]
34. A jokester [1:27]
35. Last sigh [4:23]
36. End Credits [2:45]

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Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Originally viewed this film when it came out about 25 years ago, but made a lasting impression of the absurdity and triteness of the middle class (to which most of us belong). Unfortunately, as life's events would have it, I interrupted a robbery of our house and was beaten and raped. Oddly enough in the weeks to follow, I felt like a character in this video, living the polite life but terribly disconnected, much like the soldier that comes to lunch with the women in the story. The disconnect I felt so closely mirrored the film, having the same feel as the film, that I wondered at the genius of the author and wondered if the insight was intentional. I recommend this film as a reflection of our society and times and to laugh at ourselves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is just another example of great work, clear brutal and tender, for those who think that this film is only a critique on the middle class should scrubb his face in mud, this here film also makes a violent comment on lesser directors who need more than enough to pierce our ears,, more money and too loud,,,Bunuel had too much of a poetic concience to simply exploit manners, ' a fly´s life is as valid as a man´s' this work is true.....