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That Obscure Object Of Desire [1977]

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

2 used from £34.98

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Product details

  • Actors: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Ángela Molina, Julien Bertheau, André Weber
  • Directors: Luis Buñuel
  • Producers: Serge Silberman
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Widescreen, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • 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: Optimum Releasing
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AK3GNM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,358 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

SYNOPSIS: Adapted from Pierre Louys' 1898 novel 'Le Femme et le Pantin', THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE marked Bunuel's final film. Recounted in flashback to a group of railway travellers, the story wryly details the romantic perils of Mathieu (Bunuel favourite Fernando Rey), a wealthy middle-aged French sophisticate who falls desperately in love with his 19-year-old former chambermaid Conchita (Carole Bouquet). Thus begins a surreal game of sexual cat-and-mouse, with Mathieu obsessively attempting to win the girl's affections as she manipulates his carnal desires, each vying to gain absolute control of the other. Brimming with the subversive wit which characterises Bunuel's finest work, THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE takes satiric aim at a decadent, decaying society riddled with political unrest and moral bankruptcy. Nominated for two Academy Awards, it is an apt summation of the director's obsession with the connection between sex and violence and a fitting epitaph to a remarkable career. ABOUT THE DVD: This is a release for the UK market by OPTIMUM RELEASING (Region 2 PAL format - which will play on all standard DVD players in the UK and the rest of Europe - buyers outside of Europe will need a multi-region players in order to view it) - The film is presented in COLOUR and in WIDESCREEN format (1.66:1 aspect ratio) and runs for a total of 99 minutes - the AUDIO is the original FRENCH language - SUBTITLES are in ENGLISH language only - SPECIAL FEATURES are a 26 minute documentary 'A BODY OF WORK TO MEND' and the film's original theatrical trailer.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a fitting culmination of a lifetime's work. It combines sex and politics with terrific wit as Mathieu (Fernando Rey dubbed into French by Michel Piccoli) embarks on a train journey from Seville to Paris. His fellow travellers having witnessed him pouring water over the head of a woman trying to board the train, he tells them the story of his frustrated sexual relationship with the flamenco dancer Conchita who refuses to let him have his wicked way even though he showers her with everything she could possibly want. Meanwhile The Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus (!) is blowing up bombs in acts of terrorism which are rocking Spain and France. Bunuel poses sex and politics as traps. Mathieu is looking for a mistress while political factions are looking for a way to deal with the European bourgeoisie. Both end in terrorism. Political analysis is submerged in psycho-sexual analysis here which extends to an examination of how we see 'women as objects of desire' on the screen. Carriere/Bunuel do this by casting Conchita with two actresses - Carole Bouquet plays her as a slim adolescent while Angela Molina plays her as the sensual Latino. Mathieu outwardly doesn't notice when one segues into the other even in mid-scene, but we certainly do, our expectations about viewing the erotic object on screen being attacked at every turn. Mathieu and Conchita's sex games certainly aren't vicious like Paul and Jeanne's are in Last Tango in Paris. Instead, they are a game which both enjoy. Note Mathieu enjoys relating his story to his audience on the train, an audience who provide for a series of off-handed jokes and absurdities which are richly entertaining. The explosive ending is a wonderful summing up of what Bunuel thought about sexual relationships, politics, the bourgeoisie and the whole goddam thing. To the last he remained at heart the eternal anarchist.
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Format: DVD
A man tips a bucket of cold water over a woman from a train that is pulling out of a station. His fellow passengers enquire to his odd behaviour. He tells them the story of his frustratingly sexless relationship with the love of his life.

There's a great 45 minute short film to be told from this story. At over 90 minutes it's not so great. Too little spread too thinly over too many minutes. There's just not enough here to sustain my interest for the full length. I started yawning by the end.

As usual with Luis Buñuel the good parts are very good, so something arresting will pop up every now and again to keep you going.

I first saw the film about ten years ago. I thought it was borderline okay, but very flawed and a little boring. This was only my second viewing as it's not a movie that calls for repeat screenings. Once was more than enough.

The lead female character is played by two actresses to no notable effect. She is an annoying, exasperating woman. When he finally snaps and starts slapping her around I found myself fully on his side. I don't recommend the film to feminists.

The movie doesn't really work, and is overall more of a failure than a success. The story just doesn't need so much running time to tell it effectively. I wouldn't call the movie slowly paced, more dragged out by bloating the plot with scene after scene of him getting close and then her rejecting him. You only need to see this happen so many times.

If the film wasn't subtitled and directed by someone with an arty reputation, I probably wouldn't take it any more seriously than a Carry On movie. Still, it's a lot better, shorter and thematically richer than Stanley Kubrick's brick of a film Eyes Wide Shut, with which it shares some similarities (That Obscure Object of Desire could make a strong 45 minute film, Eyes Wide Shut a so-so 30 minute film).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have bought this twice once from Amazon Marketplace, once from Ebay, and each time I have received the film "Three", I Think the reason for this is that they both have the same Barcode! Enjoyed the film at the cinema so four stars. I also had the same problem with "The Milky Way" on Optimum, I do wonder if the same problem arises with all Luis Bunuel films on Optimum.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 May 2015
Format: DVD
Master of the surreal satire, Spanish film-maker Luis Bunuel marked his farewell to an illustrious career with this 1977 take on male obsession and it is gratifying to see that the man, over a career spanning nearly half a century from 1929’s groundbreaking Un Chien Andalou, had lost none of his wit, visual sense and ability to both challenge and entertain. Of course, Bunuel’s subject matter here is not exactly an original one for the cinema – other notable examples including the likes of Vertigo, Lolita and (more recently) American Beauty – but (perhaps unsurprisingly) no other film treats man’s infatuation with the opposite sex with quite the levels of eccentricity and equivocation as Bunuel does here. Plus, in trademark fashion, Bunuel’s film is also redolent with satirical touches on religion, morality, social convention and (notably here) 'revolutionary politics’.

TOOOD is also notable, of course, for Bunuel’s casting of two actresses (both stunningly beautiful), Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina as the titular 'object’, Conchita, and switching seamlessly (and inexplicably) between them, with Fernando Rey’s wealthy 'desirer’, Mathieu, apparently oblivious to the difference (perhaps signifying that Mathieu’s obsession is with a 'generic’ – rather than individual – female?). The film’s fictional obsession, though, is almost certainly at least partially a self-reflection for Bunuel, as much of the film’s action takes place in Spain (Seville, admittedly, rather than Aragon), as well as Conchita being the name of the film-maker’s sister.
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