Day 278: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 1972

Day 278

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie    1972

A Luis Buñuel Film

A curious film.

Based on a screenplay by Buñuel with the participation of Jean-Claude Carrière, this was Buñuel’s third last film, made when he was in his early seventies. It’s one of his most surreal films, juxtaposing expectations and realities, finding strange incongruities which are bizarre and often unnerving.

The first one is one of those embarrassing moments when a group of people arrive for a dinner party and the host is away and the hostess is in her nightgown and nothing is prepared as no one is expecting them. She claims it is the wrong night. They make the best of it and they go out for dinner together at a local restaurant. The restaurant appears to be closed but when they knock someone reluctantly opens the door. Their reception is not cheerful and they wonder if they should leave. They’re encouraged to stay and they discuss what they should order and it is only then that they discover that the owner has literally just died and his dead body is lying in an adjacent room. The staff and family are waiting for the undertaker. The group ate assured that if they stay, “Of course, we remain at your service… I can assure you that you’ll have an excellent dinner.” Most don’t want to stay, and one lady wants to be taken home. As this group traverse their way through the film and their lives, it gets worse and worse and worse, until they’re just walking, walking, walking, walking, walking!

A classic.