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  • That Obscure Object Of Desire (StudioCanal Collection) [DVD]
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That Obscure Object Of Desire (StudioCanal Collection) [DVD]

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£15.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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That Obscure Object Of Desire (StudioCanal Collection) [DVD] + Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie [DVD] [1972] + Belle de Jour - 40th Anniversary [1967] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Ángela Molina
  • Directors: Luis Bunuel
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sept. 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008LU8KS0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,581 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


A tale of impossible desire from director Luis Bunuel. Mathieu (Fernando Rey), a widowed French businessman, becomes obsessed with a Spanish girl named Conchita (Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina). She claims to feel the same for him but nevertheless continually frustrates the realisation of his desire. Meanwhile, in the background, a series of terrorist bomb attacks are carried out by the Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr René Codoni on 23 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD
71uk Ese oscuro objeto del deseo by Luís Buñuel (1977, 105')

After Buñuel and Carrière's search for the title figure of their film failed in a first round of cast trial shooting (the famous new apartment scene, with Conchita and her lover in action, letting Don Mateo (Mathieu Faber, by Fernando Rey) only watch from the outside), where none did pass (not even, not surprisingly, Maria Schneider of last tango fame), they came up with splitting the role between two young women, Carole Bouquet (the more elegant) and Ángela Molina (the more playful).

Like for other of Buñuel's films, another railway station kiosque novel served as background: Pierre Louÿs' Woman and Puppet (1908 translation of La femme et le pantin, 1898). Louÿs (1870-1925) was a French poet and writer (of Belgian extraction), most renowned for lesbian and classical themes in some of his writings and known for "expressing pagan sensuality with stylistic perfection". A friend of Gide and Wilde, un décadent; although heterosexual, Louÿs enjoyed homosexual circles.

Atmospherically similar to Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (1972), Buñuel's last film (again) plays in Spain and France. Against the background of increa-singly common terror attacks (a phenomenon that irritated Buñuel already for some time), a mad story of unfulfilled love. A compartment group of Seville to Madrid train travellers: a mother and her young daughter, a judge who is coinci-dentally a friend of Mathieu's cousin, and a psychologist who coincidentally is a dwarf, who had all just witnessed him pouring a bucket of water over Conchita's head, from the window of their waiting train about to depart.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christer Johansson on 17 Aug. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you have only seen this on DVD before and like the film, the upgraded picture clarity on this StudioCanal Collection Blu-ray will impress you. A recommended buy !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yoselovich Boris on 29 April 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The last film of L.Bunuel is also one of his most interesting. Excellent actors and interesting plot make this movie a joy to watch and gives food for thought. Highly recommended!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Sort of Better Than the Criterion DVD 26 Jan. 2014
By Ryan Winn - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It's worth getting the blu-ray instead of the out-of-print Criterion DVD because of the much better picture (the Criterion DVD had a disappointing picture) and extras, though I hate the menus on this blu-ray. There's cheesy music playing during the menu that isn't even from the film. Aesthetically, the Criterion DVD is better as far as the packaging and menus go. This blu-ray wins because of the picture. The bonus interviews are excellent as well.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
That Obscure Object Of One Man's Vision 7 Feb. 2013
By E. Lee Zimmerman - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Oh, you devilish French people! What with all of your obsession with, well, obsession! Men and women constantly throwing themselves at one another! Sex, sultry sex, and more sensational sensual sex! How refreshing it is to come across a slightly older classic that shows not all of you - young or old - are constantly happily copulating with one another twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week! How delightful it is to discover that those rare few of you are doing little more than emotionally torturing the one you presumably love, once and for all proving that the rest of us may very well have a chance to stand toe-to-toe with you in matters of carnal conquest and rejection!

(Not that there's anything wrong with it ...)

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE is the story of an older man named Mathieu (played by Fernando Rey) who becomes smitten with his new maid-servant, Conchita (played in alternating appearances by two actresses: Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina). Initially, she spurns his advances - even runs from his affections - only causing the man to be increasingly captivated by her. As their relationship grows (or does it?), the two continue a bizarre mating game, one that borders the lands of faithlessness and self-destruction, until there's nothing left for a possible happy union.

After watching the film, I had to do some research as, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out just what Spanish director Luis Bunuel (who also co-wrote this adaptation with Jean-Claude Carriere) was trying to say artistically in casting two separate women to play the same role. Over the course of the story, Bouquet and Molina appear interchangeably as Conchita for no particular rhyme or reason I could fathom. The best I've been able to ascertain is that Bunuel was a surrealist (an art form characterized by "subconscious or nonrational significance of imagery arrived at by ... the exploitation of ... unexpected juxtapositions"), the goal of which would appear to invoke a `dream state' under which one's conscious mind has no influence.

Well ...

The best this unschooled mind has been able to put together is that, by casting two different women, Bunuel hoped to keep the audience (and his characters) in a persistent state of flux where illogical emotion could wreck havoc on these people. Conchita - regardless of who's playing her - frequently uses her feminine charms to arouse Mathieu; but she - regardless of who's playing her - never gives in to him sexually. In fact, the close she comes - so far as the film implies - is that he allows him to lie partially naked with her in bed. When he proposes alternative ways of gratification, she spurns him further, shutting him out of his bedroom or even locking him out of the house.

Also, the two actresses are of different heritage - Bouquet is as French as a woman can possibly be, while Molina is the more sultry Spanish beauty. This could imply that Mathieu's attraction either might or might not be related to cultural normalcy (i.e. dating or marrying within one's nationality). Certainly, the women are both attractive but possess markedly differing physical traits, also suggesting that perhaps there is no universal body type provoking man's desire.

The thrust of DESIRE would be to suggest that satisfaction isn't possibly attainable - at least not for any measureable duration - because there are no constants that can be added up in any magic formula to display sexual fulfillment. There are only variables - variables which change from place to place, from person to person, even from time to time - and, as such, lasting happiness will always be close enough to touch but never quite within man's reach.

Lastly, there's an odd juxtaposition of scenes in the film's climax that bear further exploration, as I believe they underscore whatever idea Bunuel was reaching to say with his final film. Mathieu and Conchita appear to have reconciled, and they're shown in an alley perusing windows of some small French shops. Together, they're drawn to one display where a delicate woman patiently mends a tear in an elaborate woven dress. Bunuel focuses on this scene for quite some time, and then we're shown our two leads - up in the corner of the frame - speaking with one another, but the audience no longer hears what they're saying (they're on the outside of the glass window pane). Are they speaking about the dress? Are they reflecting on their relationship? Are they debating stitching choices? Conchita frowns and walks away, then Mathieu frowns and follows, but - in the last image - we're shown an explosion (a radio report playing in the background discussed mounting terrorist attacks in the city only moments before) ... and that's the end.

What I suspect - I could be wrong - Bunuel was saying is that even when the process of mending is under way, there will always be elements that pull us apart, that force us in other directions. This would imply that we're never truly under control of ourselves or our existence - that we're always subject to the randomness of life - and perhaps this would imply that the pursuit of fleeting happiness is nothing more than the pursuit of fools.

The film isn't as depressing as it sounds, though it certainly teeters close. Psychologically, it's an interesting study of a very complex idea, though I would have to say it certainly isn't an idea for everyone. Scholars might find plenty to get excited over here, but Mathieu sure didn't. (Pun intended.)

THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE is produced by Greenwich Film Productions, Les Films Galaxie, and In-Cine Compañía Industrial Cinematográfica. DVD distribution is being handled by Lionsgate. As for the technical specifications, this Blu-ray release looks and sounds very good, though I experienced one sequence late in the film the seemed a bit out-of-sync (for a few brief seconds); I have to wonder if that wasn't a production issue back to the original film. This is a French spoken language release (with English subtitles), but there is an English-dubbed track available. Lastly, the disk includes a nice assortment of special features: "Arbitrary Desire" (an interview with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrier); an interview with Carlos Saura; "Double Dames" (interviews with actresses Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina); and "A Portrait of Luis Bunuel" which is an in-depth discussion of the director and his films. It's certainly an impressive collection for a film of such distinction.

RECOMMENDED. As I indicated above, this one isn't for everyone. While there's a clear narrative at work here, so much of THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE is the study of an idea. It's a surreal investigation into the art of seduction and repulsion - of how love leads to hate and vice versa. All of the players do a solid job, but I suspect the ending will leave more folks conflicted than they are happy, which is probably just what the director wanted.

In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Lionsgate provided me with a DVD screener of THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Eternal Battle 11 Nov. 2013
By Chase Kimball - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
For me, this movie is about the inability of men and women to understand one another, and especially how mysterious and capricious women seem to some men. I believe the lead actress switches back and forth to demonstrate just how unknowable this woman is for Fernando Rey, so unknowable that she is an entirely different woman from scene to scene and day to day. One of Bunuel's finest efforts.
Excellent quality blu-ray.... 22 Dec. 2013
By G. Edmonson - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
"That Obscure Object of Desire" (1977) was the last movie Luis Bunuel directed, and it's a good one with Bunuel using two actresses to play the same female character. The transfer is crystal clear, and was apparently remastered by Studio Canal/Lionsgate. There are lots of extras, including interviews with Jean-Claude Carriere, Carlos Saura, a 37 minute "Lady Doubles" feature that has interviews with Carole Bouquet, and Angela Molina, as well as a 17 minute feature about Luis Bunuel" directed by Dominique Maillet.
Boring childish film 18 Feb. 2015
By T. Kazalski - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this movie because of it pedigree. Unfortunately it's milk toast approach to the adult themes it purports to embrace are shot like a "G" movie.
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