The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 

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Luis Bunuel's 1972 comic masterpiece about three well-to-do couples who try and fail to have a meal together is perhaps the most perfectly achieved and flawlessly executed of all his late French films, produced by Serge Silberman and coscripted by Jean-Claude Carriere. The film proceeds by diverse interruptions, digressions, and interpolations (including dreams and tales within tales) that, interestingly enough, identify the characters, their class, and their seeming indestructibility with narrative itself. One of the things that makes this film as charming as it is, despite its radicalism, and helped Buñuel win his only Oscar, is the perfect cast, many of whom bring along the nearly mythic associations that they acquired in previous French films (Delphine Seyrig, Stephane Audran, Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Cassel), as well as many Buñuel regulars (Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Julien Bertheau). Frightening, funny, profound, and mysterious. A restored 35-millimeter print will be shown (101 min.). Music Box, Friday through Thursday, August 11 through 17.

--Jonathan Rosenbaum

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