Queering Bunuel: Sexual Dissidence and Psychoanalysis in his Mexican and Spanish Cinema

Overview

As the father of cinematic Surrealism, extensive critical attention has been devoted to Luis Buñuel’s cinema. Much has been written about his first Surrealist films of the 1920s and 1930s and the French art movies of the 1960s and 1970s. However, here for the first time is a queer re-reading of Buñuel’s Spanish-language films allowing us to view Buñuel’s cinema through a lens of queer spectatorship. Focusing on the films Buñuel produced in Mexico and Spain during the 1950s and 1960s, Julián Daniel ...

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Overview

As the father of cinematic Surrealism, extensive critical attention has been devoted to Luis Buñuel’s cinema. Much has been written about his first Surrealist films of the 1920s and 1930s and the French art movies of the 1960s and 1970s. However, here for the first time is a queer re-reading of Buñuel’s Spanish-language films allowing us to view Buñuel’s cinema through a lens of queer spectatorship. Focusing on the films Buñuel produced in Mexico and Spain during the 1950s and 1960s, Julián Daniel Gutiérrez-Albilla argues not that Buñuel’s films have a homosexual subplot, but that there are multiple forms of identity, subjectivity and sexuality present in these films.

Queering Buñuel brings together the fields of film studies, feminist and queer theory, Hispanic studies, psychoanalysis and art theory. Gutiérrez-Albilla succeeds in reconceptualizing Buñuel’s Mexican and Spanish films beyond geographical, historical and disciplinary boundaries, questioning not just how we see Buñuel, but also how we see cinema.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is superbly written, at the highest level of intellectual argument, and with a most impressively broad range of theoretical frames of reference, which are always explained well and integrated into the discussion. There are few scholars who can handle difficult theorists like Lacan and Zizek (diacritics) with ease and clarity, and Dr Gutierrez is one of them....In addition to being the most theoretically brilliant study of Bunuel's work to date (and a lot has been written on his films), this book also stands out as an original contribution to scholarship on account of its interweaving into its argument of reference to the work of contemproary visual arts....It should be on the reading list of every student of Bunuel (whether in Departments of Cinema or Spanish), and has the potential to establish itself as a classic of queer cultural criticism." -- Professor Jo Labanyi, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures, New York University

"Buñuel’s films have received long and sustained critical attention from a wide variety of perspectives over the years but never, to my knowledge, have they been subjected to the sort of theoretical analysis successfully applied here....Concentrating on a reduced number of films also provides the opportunity for detailed analysis, and Gutiérrez-Albilla opens up these films in fascinating ways, sometimes brilliantly."--Peter Evans, Professor of Film Studies and Head of the School of Modern Languages, Queen Mary, University of London

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Julián Daniel Gutiérrez-Albilla is Assistant Professor in Spanish and Film Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his DPhil at Cambridge University in 2004.

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Table of Contents

* Introduction
• The Encounter with the Real: Social Otherness, Fragmentation and Mise-en-abîme in Los olvidados
• Pleasure or Punishment? Abjection, the Vampire Trope and Masochistic Perversions in Viridiana
• The Fall from Grace: Anality, the Horizontal Body and Anti-Oedipus in El ángel exterminador
• The Invisible Trauma: Violent Fantasies, Repetitions and Flashbacks in Ensayo de un crimen
• The Refusal of Visual Mastery: Paranoia, the Scream and the Gaze in Él
• Conclusion
• Appendix: Synopses of the Films

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