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Criterion Collection: Exterminating Angel [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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The repeated shot in question is at the start of the film when we are shown the guests entering the grand hallway twice, separated by a shot of the maids sneaking out the front door. Not only is this very disorientating, it is also the start of a series of double takes and repeats throughout the narrative which are crucial to the denouement of the film. To my mind its absence make quite a difference.
Before I bought this Arrow DVD I emailed the company to ask if the reports of missing shots was true. They assured me that it was the correct version of the film and included the repeated shot - well it doesn't - the scene is missing. My correspondence with them would indicate that they are surprised to discover this as they thought the shot was included.
Further research has unearthed one plausible answer to its absence: possibly the owners of this particular print, having little knowledge or understanding of the film, assumed that the repeated shot was a lab error and had it cut out.
This is a no frills, no extras DVD taken from a reasonable quality print. The whites can get a bit hot but on the whole the rich B & W photography of the original is reasonably well transferred. But it's still a major disappointment because of the missing shot which does affect the balance of the film in my opinion.
This is a great story; it plays out like a film-length version of one of the older style "Twilight Zone" episodes, and also has the lovely sting in the tail that goes with it. There are some surreal moments as well, including the random appearences of a bear and sheep inside the house and a disembodied floating hand.
There are clear stabs here by the director at what he sees as the aloofness of certain social groups considering themselves more civilised then others; the aristocracy, the masons, and the church.
Filmed in the 1960s in black and white and with subtitles to the Spanish dialogue, none of this detracts from a great story and an engrossing film.
The film never reveals the cause of the strange curse, but the title implies some kind of divine punishment. The film is still startling today, particularly a macabre hallucination in which a woman is menaced by a disembodied hand.
A surreal classic.
Mordant, funny, ironic verging on sardonic, yet occasionally sympathetic to the
plight of its characters, and unfailingly artistic throughout.
Many single frames would by themselves win photography prizes -- the composition,
lighting, and rich B&W tones are simply gorgeous.
As in almost any Bunuel movie, there is no real story; instead, using nearly
only images (this could work as a silent movie), Bunuel tells us a parable
about bestial and noble actions, about the delicate nature of the veneer of
civilization, about mob behavior and moral virtues,
all crystallized in the light of an apparently supernatural condition
(hence the "angel" in the title).
At the end, Bunuel pulls one of his signature surprises on us, perhaps to tell us
that the rather wealthy and mostly vain people whose behavioral responses were
just illustrated under his camera's eye are just a random sample of humankind.
B&W movies do not come any better than this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As noted by AS Potts (Jan 2010) there is a crucial cut at the beginning of the film on this CD - that of the guests arriving for the second time - which spoils the symmetry of the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Keefer
This is a film you will probably need to watch more than once especially if you,re a fan of Buñuel. And its in super black and white. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dela
Your DVD is the closest one can get to a cinema show, and I enjoyed extra material!Published 13 months ago by Tito Pannaggi