Has anyone ever thought about what would happen if the conventions and prejudices of eating and evacuating oneself were suddenly reversed? Well, Luis Buńuel has, as someone who was never far from a bit of provocation. Though that thought may only be represented in one scene from his film The Phantoms of Liberty, it's not as if the rest of the film is any less disturbing. In many ways, this film is made to disturb. Firstly, because it tells a story in a way completely different from any other film,and we, the viewers, face a constant struggle to get to grips with this new form of storytelling. Who exactly is the main character? What kind of dreamlike logic connects the characters in the story? And secondly, because it leads us into a world which makes any stubborn adherence to conventions and prejudices utterly impossible and ineffective. And, lastly because, Dear Viewer, Buńuel is testing us. How will our thoughts develop as the story unfolds? How does our 'pornographic imagination' distort our expectations and our preconceptions? Doesn't the impotence of this medium with its perversion and loss of realitydrive us mad? How do we all end up talking at cross purposes? What do we do with the fact that the characters journey into each other's dreams?
In The Phantom of Liberty, a world unfolds which becomes a hostage to itself, leaving little chance of escape. As for whether this notion has any relevance in the present day... Who knows? Which is how Buńuel begins his least realistic film: 'Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.'
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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