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  • Criterion Coll: Discreet Charm & Proposito [DVD] [1972] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Criterion Coll: Discreet Charm & Proposito [DVD] [1972] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Product details

  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z1FM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,853 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

2 DVD´s, Criterion Collection, both Discs + Booklet + Amaray-Case in perfect condition!

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By VCBF (Val) on 3 Feb. 2010
Format: VHS Tape
I once overheard the following conversation by two people behind me in an art-house cinema:
"I think I know what this film is about!"
(crossly) "You haven't been paying attention."
It wasn't "La Charme Discret de la Bourgoisie" we were watching (although I can no longer remember which one it was) but it would be appropriate to this one.
It is about a group of people who never manage to have dinner together and it is incredibly funny and satirical.
It includes a series of bad dreams, but is it all a bad dream?
Maybe the characters can't have dinner together because they don't really connect with each other, they are mostly more interested in their own preoccupations than each other, just follow the conversations between them.
The middle-class dinner party is even more of an institution in France than it is in Britain, so is it about the failure of middle-class institutions?
Is a dadaesque bit of chaos?
You will have to watch it and form your own opinions, because I don't know. I just love watching this and laughing at all the comic moments, even though I know I don't really get the joke.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 July 2008
Format: DVD
"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" unfolds with the absurd logic of a recurrent dream, and since the DVD has been beautifully restored, one is able to dream the dream in vivid colour. Elegantly dressed guests arrive for a dinner party only to have the hostess inform them that they have come on the wrong night; thus, they keep making appointments for dinners that are continually interrupted for one reason or another--all of the reasons being as patently ridiculous as are the characters: a bishop, who arrives at the house and asks to be hired as a gardener, and then relates the story of his macabre childhood; a soldier, who arrives at a restaurant (that has run out of tea and coffee), asks to join the ladies, whom he has never met before, and relates the story of his macabre childhood; a General, who arrives with his platoon a day early at the same house with the same hostess in time for dinner, and then, after the General invites a Private to relate the story of his macabre dream to the hosts and the invited guests (who listen attentively), both General and platoon depart for maneuvers (but not before inviting all the guests to his house for dinner, where even more macabre events unfold.). Thus, the dreams contain dreams within dreams within dreams within dreams within dreams et cetera ad absurdum.

This film is for anyone who has ever had recurrent nightmares of waiting for a bus on the wrong corner; of being about to take a test only to discover that one has studied the wrong subject; of being about give a lecture only to discover that one has left one's notes at home; or of performing on stage with a mouth stuffed with peanut-butter when one's cue is coming up. All the absurd commonplaces that make perfect sense when one is dreaming. And much of the "discreet charm" of the bourgeois characters in this film derives from the fact that one is dreaming their nightmares and not one's own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr René Codoni on 23 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD
69uk Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie by Luís Buñuel (1972, 102')

The six main people of the film - The Ambassador of Miranda, his First Secretary with wife and niece, a non further defined bourgeois business couple (Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Delphine Seyrig, Bulle Ogier, Stéphane Audran, Jean-Pierre Cassel, all very well directed) are seen in three different sequences to walk quite energetically along an empty country road, in a flat farming landscape. This scene appears three times in the film. Out of food, of transport, of purpose?

A diplomatic pouch full of drugs, neatly packed for the resellers, a young woman casually selling small mechanical pets off the sidewalk in front of the embassy. From his window, the ambassador shoots at one of the small walking toys, the woman disappears in haste, is later arrested as a terrorist. A monsignore that offers to work as a gardener. A young lieutenant, in a noble café, begs to be allowed to tell the three women his childhood story.

As Wikipedia put it: "The film consists of several thematically linked scenes: five gatherings of a group of bourgeois friends, and the four dreams of different characters. The beginning of the film focuses on the gatherings, while the latter part focuses on the dreams, but both types of scenes are intertwined." Counting and assigning scenes is a bit tricky - one could equally call it series of aborted
dinners and other interruptions - and what is real and what is a dream may not matter much from a surreal perspective.

At one stage, a group of French army officers on manoeuvres joins the dinner, leading to a counter-invitation by the French colonel.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD
With this 1972 film, master of the surreal satire, Luis Bunuel, has a dig at pretty much all of the establishment targets that he made a habit of lambasting over his long and illustrious career - the bourgeoisie (of course) and their (historical) cohorts, namely, the church, army, police, and faceless government and diplomatic officials. What, for me, turns TDCOTB into a classic of its (relatively rare) genre, however, is primarily its script co-written by Bunuel and Jean-Claude Carrière, followed in short order by its superlative casting - essentially an ensemble of the finest French actors of the period. Its script is a true joy to behold, with its anarchic and scabrous feel following in the tradition of other great films of the genre such as the same director's The Exterminating Angel and Renoir's La Règle Du Jeu.

Bunuel's film is narrative-light, instead providing a series of vignettes built around six central (bourgeois) characters attempting to convene a dinner party (almost farce-like), but being thwarted at every turn by a chain of bizarre events (some dream, some reality). Of course, underpinning TDCOTB are issues of social class, manners and 'etiquette' as, on being 're-routed' to a restaurant for the sextet's attempted 'dining experience', Stéphane Audran's Alice Sénéchal quips, 'Cheap and no customers - that's weird', or as she and husband Henri (Jean-Pierre Cassel) take refuge in nearby bushes for a bout of pre-prandial lovemaking. French colonialism (and possibly ignorance) are Bunuel's targets as Fernando Rey's apologist, sexist ambassador to the fictional outpost of Miranda, Rafael Acosta, argues with a terrorist on the relative merits of Mao and Freud, as well as asserting.
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