“The impossible force that thrusts two people together, the impossibility of their ever becoming one.”
A sexually voracious young couple (Gaston Modot and Lya Lys) are constantly interrupted as they try to make love.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Black Comedy
- Experimental Films
- Luis Bunuel Films
- Sexual Repression
Response to Peary’s Review:
Perhaps the definitive surrealist classic, L’Age D’Or is, as Peary notes, a “devilishly hilarious affront to bourgeois society, clericalism, and morality, as well as to movie-audience complacency.” In his review, Peary — like most others (see links below) — lists many of the strange vignettes which make up this infamous film’s loosely woven plot; but the power of Bunuel and Dali’s “story” (their final collaboration together) ultimately lies in its visual impact, and thus these scenes should be seen rather than described one more time here. Bizarre imagery aside, when watching L’Age D’Or one is bearing witness to an essential piece of cinematic history: during the first few weeks of the movie’s release, outraged members of the League of Patriots and the Anti-Semitic League threw ink at the screen, while incensed patrons destroyed Surrealist art in the foyer; French censors eventually burned all existing prints, and the film was “denied a major U.S. release for 50 years.”
Note: While Peary doesn’t list Un Chien Andalou (1929) in his Guide for the Film Fanatic, this short film — Bunuel and Dali’s first together — is an equally important piece of cinematic history, and should also be seen by all film fanatics. Along with L’Age D’Or, it may very well be the epitome of early subversive cinema.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Many truly bizarre, darkly comedic images
- The opening “scorpio sequence”
Yes. This surreal classic must be seen to be appreciated, and merits multiple viewings.
- Controversial Film
- Historically Relevant
- Important Director
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)