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Criterion Coll: Phantom of Liberty [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Jean-Claude Brialy , Adolfo Celi , Luis Buñuel    DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi, Michel Piccoli, Monica Vitti, Adriana Asti
  • Directors: Luis Buñuel
  • Writers: Luis Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière
  • Producers: Serge Silberman, Ulrich Picard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 24 May 2005
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007WFYC0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,536 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of joint 23 Mar 2012
70uk Le fantôme de la liberté by Luís Buñuel (1974, 104')

There is an ongoing discussion as to which of his last seven films - Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), Belle de Jour (1967), The Milky Way (1969), Tristana (1970), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), The Phantom of Liberty (1974), or That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) - is the most surrealistic. Well, they are all Buñuel's, so the variation must be by degrees, and under that perspective, it is The Phantom of Liberty (1974).

Indeed, there is plenty of material: the ostrich turning her head fast left/right, the case of the non-missing school girl, the roof top shooter into crowds, who is immediately released after having been found guilty, the drinking party of Carmelite monks, smoking and playing cards in a motel room, and much more. Army and police are again recurrent motives, as is religion, though unlike the similar "Voie lactée" (1969), there is no continuity motif like the two tramps on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

70uk Le fantôme de la liberté by Luís Buñuel (1974, 104')
23 March 2012
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a sketch show 4 Feb 2010
On the surface this is as funny as "Bourgoisie", but much more satirical and subversive as the subject is grander, liberty itself. If you watch it for the comedy some rather unsettling messages remain in your head afterwards. That doesn't stop it being funny, the best comedy always makes you think as well as be entertained. Like "Bourgoisie" and "Object of Desire" this is a series of connected stories rather than a continuous narrative (in fact more so) and together the three films form a thought provoking trilogy. Watch all three (although unfortunately this is the wrong format for Europe, so you have to reset the DVD player, grrr!).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best Bunuel film ever 18 April 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is Bunuel at his most playful and subversive. It is the hidden gem amongst his works. I don't understand why it isn't more well-known. It is the film Discreet Charm of the Bourgouisie would have been if it hadn't been so Hollywood-ised. 'Phantom of Liberty' remains true to the original political ideals of surrealism.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One for dedicated Luis Buñuel fans only 19 May 2011
I've always compared The Phantom of Liberty to Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Mainly because I've thought of it as a surrealistic comedy sketch film that deals with the absurdity of life.

I was wrong. Sort of. It might technically be a sketch film, but most of the sequences are too long and lacking in humour for large parts, for me to now really think of it as a sketch film. A certain quick fire quality of getting in and out of the sketches is missing. Also there's not much in the way of punchlines to the scenes as the joke is usually in the set up. As random and unconnected as much of it is, it doesn't necessarily feel like a sketch film.

The main problem with the film is the pace. It does try the patience a little. I'd imagine the more casual viewer will be climbing the walls in frustration long before the end. I yawned a few times, and I was certainly fed up with it during the last stretch. And Buñuel was usually someone whose movies didn't dillydally and actually got on with it.

Is the film funny? There are a few laughs in it, but there are long stretches that are barren of jokes (or anything to really hold your attention). The maddening thing about the film is that the good bits are very good. Sadly I doubt those parts edited end to end would last much beyond fifteen minutes.

For example: the sequence set in the storm lashed hotel has a good climax, involving a pervert being publicly flogged by his leather clad mistress. Unfortunately we have to endure about twenty minutes of unfunny, directionless tedium (monks playing cards, a young man trying to have an affair with a much older woman) to get a minute of good stuff. The ratio of bad to good is not in our favour.

It's a weak movie with a few good bits.
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