February 22, 2021

GKIDS Recommends: 5 Essential Films from Luis Buñuel

On Luis Buñuel’s birthday, GKIDS presents five essential films from the storied director

Unquestionably a pioneer of surrealism in film, Luis Buñuel’s approach to tackling societal issues through his own personal lens laid the groundwork for generations of filmmakers to follow.

Looking back to the roots of the enigmatic artist in his film Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles, director Salvador Simó made the distinctive choice to focus on a young Luis Buñuel, who “In 1932, when he shot the documentary in Las Hurdes, was a young director seeking his own filming style and language,” citing that distinct period as “A turning point his his career, changing the way in which he gave shape & form to Surrealism and his films.” 

In honor of Luis Buñuel’s Birthday, we at GKIDS have selected 5 films that show him at his strangest and most provocative.

UN CHIEN ANDALOU
Luis Buñuel made his mark on the world of cinema in this silent short film, made in partnership with fellow surrealist Salvador Dalí. A film studies essential, its ‘eye’-catching imagery will linger in your subconscious long after the film’s brisk runtime.
Available on DVD

Un Chien Andalou (Image Courtesy Kino International)

L’AGE D’OR
In his second and final collaboration with Salvador Dalí, Buñuel delves into his satirically biting views on family, Christianity, bourgeois society and politics that would remain throughout the rest of his career. GKIDS’ Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles chronicles this film’s notorious premiere and its aftermath.
Available on Kanopy

L’Age d’Or (Image Courtesy Kanopy)

THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL
A group of Mexican aristocrats mysteriously find themselves trapped in their host’s living room after a stuffy evening party. Increasingly claustrophobic and primal, this is a timely cabin fever classic for the age of quarantine.
Available on The Criterion Channel

The Exterminating Angel (Image Courtesy The Criterion Collection)

BELLE DE JOUR
A lonely housewife leads two very different identities in her waking life and dream life as she embarks on a new profession as a sex worker. Luminary French actress Catherine Deneuve stars in her first of two vehicles with the director in this seductive arthouse staple.
Available on The Criterion Channel

Belle de Jour (Image Courtesy The Criterion Channel)

THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE 
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the director is at his most playful in this comedy about the never-ending bizarre interruptions of a dinner party for six middle class friends, headlined by acting greats Delphine Seyrig, Stéphane Audran, and Fernando Rey.
Available on The Criterion Channel, Amazon Prime

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Image Courtesy The Criterion Collection)

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Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles is now available on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and Digital Download.

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