That Obscure Object of Desire

That Obscure Object of Desire

Director: Luis Buñuel

Cast: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Ángela Molina

     
 

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Adapted from Pierre Louys' 1898 novel La Femme et le Pantin, That Obscure Object of Desire is the 30th and final film from the great Luis Buñuel. Recounted in flashback to a group of railway travellers, the story wryly details the romantic perils of Mathieu (Buñuel favorite Fernando Rey), a wealthy, middle-aged French sophisticate who falls desperatelySee more details below

Overview

Adapted from Pierre Louys' 1898 novel La Femme et le Pantin, That Obscure Object of Desire is the 30th and final film from the great Luis Buñuel. Recounted in flashback to a group of railway travellers, the story wryly details the romantic perils of Mathieu (Buñuel favorite Fernando Rey), a wealthy, middle-aged French sophisticate who falls desperately in love with his 19-year-old former chambermaid Conchita. Thus begins a surreal game of sexual cat-and-mouse, with Mathieu obsessively attempting to win the girl's affections as she manipulates his carnal desires, each vying to gain absolute control of the other. Brimming with the subversive wit which characterizes all of Buñuel's finest work, That Obscure Object of Desire takes satiric aim at a decadent, decaying society riddled by political unrest and moral bankruptcy. The picture is absurdist even in its casting -- Rey's dialogue was dubbed by the French actor Michel Piccoli, while the two-faced, hot-and-cold Conchita is played, logically enough, by two different actresses (Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina, respectively), with the character's dialogue spoken by yet a third performer. The same Louys novel was also filmed by Josef von Sternberg in 1935 as the Marlene Dietrich vehicle The Devil Is a Woman, and again in 1959 as Julien Duvivier's La Femme et le Pantin, starring Brigitte Bardot.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
It took surrealistic director Luis Buñuel most of his lifetime to find a wider international audience, and he finally achieved it with his last film, a hilarious story of sexual frustration. The story concerns a rich Spanish gentleman who is continually tricked and humiliated by a beautiful woman, who changes physical appearances and refuses his advances. That Obscure Object of Desire is based on a novel by Pierre Louys, which has been the basis for several other films. None is as richly realized as Buñuel's version, which uses two actresses (Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina) in the identity-switching lead role. And no director can explore sexual frustration as well as Buñuel, who made a whole career of the topic. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, a belated tribute to the long, groundbreaking career of the accomplished anarchistic director. Like his penultimate film, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, That Obscure Object of Desire is not as dense or confusing as Buñuel's earlier works, and is more accessible to general audiences. Still, it is full of the director's characteristic camera trickery, biting social satire and psychological game-playing.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/29/2013
UPC:
0012236123187
Original Release:
1977
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
39,941

Special Features

"Arbitrary desire" (interview with Jean-Claude Carrière); Interview with Carlos Saura; "Double dames" (interview with Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina); "A portrait of Luis Buñuel" (interview with Pierre Lary and Edmond Richard) directed by Dominique Maillet, French filmmaker and movie critic

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Fernando Rey Mathieu
Carole Bouquet Conchita
Ángela Molina Conchita
Julien Bertheau Judge
André Weber Valet
Milena Vukotic Traveller
Pieral Psychologist
Maria Asquerino Actor
André Lacombe Actor
Muni Actor
Bernard Musson Actor
Isabelle Sadoyan Actor
Jacques Debary Actor
Jean-Claude Montalban Actor
Ellen Bahl Manolita

Technical Credits
Luis Buñuel Director,Screenwriter
Odette Berroyer Makeup
Jean-Claude Carrière Screenwriter
Sylvie de Segonzac Costumes/Costume Designer
Pierre Guffroy Art Director
Hélène Plemiannikov Editor
Edmond Richard Cinematographer
Serge Silberman Producer
Guy Villette Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Wagner Score Composer

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