Luis Bunuel is probably the most important figure in surrealist cinema history. Yet his spectacularly creepy early shorts (Un Chien Andalou, L'age d'Or), have often masked his reputation as a truly great director. Yes his surrealist, warped imagination was obvious, but often overlooked is his sublime direction of actors and camera work. And this box-set contains irrefutable evidence of Bunuel's genius.
Top of the tree, no question is 'Belle De Jour', for me one of the finest films ever made. The wonderful Catherine Deneuve stars as Severine, a frigid house wife, who fulfills her sexual desires by working in a brothel. She soon attracts the charms of a seedy, flamboyant gangster, whose obsession with her threatens disaster. In spite of the subject, this is tasteful stuff. Everything is implied not shown, and the film simply puts on screen the everyday fantasies we all have. Oh, and Belle De Jour also sports one of the greatest endings ever seen (you'll see).
There are plenty of other gems here as well. 'The discreet Charm of the Buorgeoisie', is for many, Bunuel's masterpiece (I'll except that). A trio of couples attempt to sit down and have a meal, only to be interrupted at every turn. These interruptions can be in the form of anything; a corpse, a coup d'etat, or in one hilarious scene, a stage play (for the love of Christ, don't ask!).
Also, 'The phantom of liberty', 'Tristana' and 'That obscure object of desire', are all worth watching over and over again. Even the misses such as 'Milky Way' are worth at least one watch for the bizarre images alone.
Bunuel's crazy world will sweep you up, spin you round and leave you in a dizzy heap on the floor. And thankfully, Bunuel never explained his work, leaving the viewer free to make his/her own mind up.
There's little doubt in my mind that Luis Bunuel was a fruit. But on the evidence here, he was also one of the world's greatest ever directors.