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The Luis Bunuel Collection [DVD] [1965]

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli, Jean Sorel
  • Directors: Luis Bunuel
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Jan. 2007
  • Run Time: 868 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRMZBU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,023 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The collected works of the famed Spanish-born director Luis Bunuel. Titles included: 'That Obscure Object of Desire', (1977) 'The Discreet Charm of The Bourgeoisie', (1972) 'The Diary of A Chambermaid', (1964) 'Phantom Of Liberty', (1974) 'Milky Way' (1969) 'Tristana', (1970) 'La Joven', (1960) and 'Belle de Jour' (1967).

Customer Reviews

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Nicely packaged, and on good prints, this bargain box set of Buñuel boasts documentaries and the theatrical trailer for each film, which is nice. The accompanying booklet is more about Catherine Deneuve than Buñuel, which is irritating, but the documentaries are more focused on the director, and provide interesting insights from Buñuel's cowriter, Jean-Claude Carrière.

Having found it really difficult to find Buñuel's later films at reasonable cost on DVD (the old box set was about the same price as this but only had his last three films), I reckon this is jolly good value for money for the discerning Buñuel enthusiast.
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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.
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Format: DVD
NOTE 18/5/11: I've since added full reviews for some of these movies to the comments section.

CET OBSCUR OBJET DU DESIRE - Amusing film about a man's obsession with/lust for a woman (played by two actresses). Very similar to Tristana (also in this box set) but better as it doesn't drag so much through its running time. Not a great movie but still very good. (3 stars)

DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE - His funniest film and probably his most surreal with a proper story. Upper/middle class couples keep trying to have dinner parties but keep getting interrupted (war breaks out, owner of the restaurant dies etc). Very memorable and one of my favourite films. (5 stars)

DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID - Looks kind of dull but is surprisingly fresh feeling and entertaining. Similar country house setting as Gosford Park but filmed in crisp black and white, and with a shoe fetishist directing. Amazing he got some of this past the censors back then. I've watched this one quite a few times which is unusual for an art film (which is the polite term for films you suffer through once because it's supposed to be good for you). (5 stars)

PHANTOM OF LIBERTY - Like Monty Pythons sketch film The Meaning Of Life. It's very uneven in quality. Some of it's sublimely silly and funny (such as eating in the toilets and doing the toilet at the dinner table; filthy pornographic pictures of famous landmarks). Other bits are dull (the police classroom). (3 stars)

MILKY WAY - Unfunny and boring. A waste of time. Some interesting surrealism at the end but getting there is a chore. (1 star)

TRISTANA - A hypocrite becomes the guardian of a girl he lusts after. Starts great but goes on for far too long. Slight premise stretched beyond breaking point.
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Note there are two versions of this box set, one with seven discs and one with eight discs (including Bunuel's The Young One, quite an unusual film in that it is made in USA in English and lacks any satirical or surrealistic qualities).
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If you are a film gourmand, Luis Bunuel must be a high priority on your list. Although this set is not complete, because such milestones as the "Andaluzian Dog" and a few others are missing, still it is an almost comprehensive set to get to like Bunuel, or to relive your past thrills.

Beautifully packed, equipped with good notes and a fine study on Catherine Deneuve, I highly recommend it to those in search of 1960s and 1970s surrealistic modernism, chic, subtle eroticism and "epaté le bourgeois".
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A marvelous group of films from one of the masters of the art. Sociologists and psychologists attempt to explain human behaviour using scientific logic; Bunuel short-circuits reason. He jolts us into truer, richer insights. Not for everyone.
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