Quick Film Guide: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Bunuel, 1972)

Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie
Directed by Louis Bunuel
France, Italy, Spain

Luis Bunuel had aged like a fine wine. In 1972, he delivered one of his greatest masterpieces since 1926’s L’Age d’Or: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. This is an inventive surrealist romp complete with dream sequences and unexpected turns that ranks highly in the director’s filmography.

The film doesn’t follow a standard narrative structure, following the attempts of six members of the upper-middle class to have a sophisticated dinner together. Every time, however, their plan is thwarted by circumstances and events each stranger and more absurd than the next.

Bunuel seems to have reached a point in his career where he has fewer reservations about what he says through his films and it is interesting to see him openly attack a large portion of his own arthouse audience. This is perhaps why, to this day, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is defined as “funny,” with less consideration about how frightening and bitter it is.

Written by Matt Micucci

I'm an international journalist, reporter, website editor and content creator. I actively work for JAZZIZ Magazine and FRED Film Radio, collaborate with other websites and curate my own projects, including IN ARTE MATT and CineCola. I have also curated and produced my series of films in Galway, Ireland, and photo exhibition and arts events in various European countries. I have a working class background and have and have a postgrad degree in Film Theory + a BA in Film & TV.

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