Simon del Desierto

Simon del Desierto

Claudio Brook
Director: Luis Buñuel Cast: Claudio Brook
Claudio Brook
, Silvia Pinal
Silvia Pinal
, Hortensia Santovena
Hortensia Santovena
Luis Buñuel

DVD (Special Edition / B&W)

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Overview

Financing troubles prevented Luis Bunuel from filing out his witty and venomous religious satire Simon des Desierto (aka Simon Of The Desert) to full feature length, but at forty-five minutes it's almost perfectly balanced and the Criterion Collection have finally made Bunuel's final Mexican film available on DVD in the United States. Simon of the Desert has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and has been slightly window-boxed so the full picture will be more readily seen on conventional monitors. The transfer is good enough to reveal a few minor streaks and tonal shifts in the original elements, but it's also taken from a spotlessly clean print and Gabriel Figueroa's camerawork is much better served here than in the muddy-looking VHS editions of this film available in the Eighties. The audio ha been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono and the fidelity is quite good for a film from the period. The dialogue is in Spanish, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options included. In addition to Bunuel's original short subject, this edition also includes A Mexican Bunuel, a fine documentary by Emilio Maille on the great filmmaker's years in the Mexican film industry, and an interview with actress Silvia Pinal, who recalls working with Bunuel and her role as the devil's emissary. Criterion has also included a handsome booklet with this disc, featuring an essay on Simon of the Desert from Michael Wood, excerpts from interviews with Bunuel in which he talks about the film, and plenty of stills from the picture. Given its length, Simon of the Desert hasn't enjoyed an especially distinguished history on home video, but this release from Criterion helps make up for that, and this minor masterpiece has rarely if ever looked this good in any format.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/10/2009
UPC: 0715515042017
Original Release: 1965
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W]
Time: 0:45:00
Sales rank: 1,910

Special Features

A Mexican Buñuel (1997),a 56 minute documentary by Emilio Maillé; New interview with actress Silvia Pinal; A Booklet featuring a new essay by critic Michael Wood and a 1970s interview with Luis Buñuel

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Simon of the Desert
1. New Column [8:09]
2. Temptation [2:31]
3. Corporeal Concerns [4:08]
4. Innocent [5:31]
5. Satan [6:55]
6. Earthly Pleasure [5:24]
7. Blessings [5:59]
8. Journey [6:50]
9. Color Bars [:00]
1. Beginnings [5:52]
2. First Films In Mexico [4:58]
3. Los Olvidados [14:49]
4. Black Comedy [7:06]
5. Collaborators [2:53]
6. Religion [4:37]
7. Working With Actors [4:14]
8. Simon of the Desert [3:17]
9. "Luis is Everything" [7:51]

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