Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Luis Bunuel 2-Disc Collector's Edition |
Gran Casino / The Young Ones
Actors: Zachary Scott, Bernie Hamilton, Key Meersman, Libertad Lamarque
Director: Luis Bu˝uel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
GRAN CASINO: Set in the early 1900's, Bunuel's surprisingly mainstream and riveting romantic melodrama is the powerful tale of two escaped convicts, Gerardo (JORGE NEGRETE) and Demetrio (JULIO VILLARREAL), who convince an ... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Two absolutely wonderful movies
Manuel Pestalozzi | 12/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For a long time I thought Luis Buñuel was an arty, removed kind of director. Thanks to DVDs like the ones in this edition it slowly dawns on me that he was extremely prolific and was also adept at tackling different genres. Gran Casino is a kind of a melodrama with humor and songs - it reminded me of Hollywood movies of the 1930s. A lot of the action takes place in the night club cum casino. There is a very long take of a singer who descends the stage, making her way through the audience along the periphery of the room and back to the stage, all the time singing, while the camera performs a 360 degree turn - it's very neat. The main character is a singer from Argentina, she performs a few of the best known tangos accompanied by a moody but competent pianist. There even is a tiny surrealist element: one dance number is performed with the dancers clutching tiny electrical torches which are absolutely out of place and do not seem to belong to the period the movie is set in. With those torches they pick out members of the audience.
The Young Ones is a very beautifully filmed drama in English concerning the coming of age of a girl in a very removed place. The girl reminded me a little of the movie Nell. An African American who has to run from an enraged mob seems to be the first real contact with the outside world. He is a clarinetist, music is an important item of this movie. The way nature is depicted reminded me of movies by Jean Renoir, it's almost like a painting.
I spent a marvellous time with these two movies."
John Smith | Astoria OR | 01/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, AMAZON, it's THE YOUNG ONE, not THE YOUNG ONES.
I tried to watch GRAN CASINO first. The discs were mislabeled, so I got to see THE YOUNG ONE first instead.
THE YOUNG ONE (LA JOVEN) is set on a island populated by a white game warden and a 13 year old orphan girl in his care. A black musician is accused of rape by a crazy white drunken dowager, and flees a lynch mob in a boat. Guess which island he washes up on. Did I mention that this film is provocative? Way before it's time, the film died at the box office upon release in 1961. The few audiences, black and white, that saw the film back then expressed a desire to lynch Bunuel.
The black fugitive and white warden play hide and seek around the island. We see the orphan's naked legs. The warden rapes the orphan. The fugitive and warden threaten each other with guns and grenades. We see the orphan's naked feet. A hypocritical reverend and a racist boatman come to the island to baptize the orphan. This is about where I starting losing track of who was supposed to be the good guys and bad guys. Adding to the moral ambiguity, the orphan doesn't seem to see herself as a victim, dissembling when the suspicious reverend asks what's going on.
Filmed in English in glorious black and white, THE YOUNG ONE is a long unavailable gem that easily justifies the cost of the package.
GRAN CASINO is in Spanish with English subtitles. The film is a semi-musical vehicle for some Mexican stars of the day. The stars do lots of singing and dancing. The film is historically interesting as an example of commercial work that Bunuel did at this stage of his career to pay the rent. There's a dash of social commentary with the titular lavish casino contrasted with the oil field that supplies the wealth, but nothing close to the whallop of THE YOUNG ONE.
The high rating is on the basis of THE YOUNG ONE, which has previously only been available in foreign formats for about $30. GRAN CASINO is light entertainment and a jarring combination with the incendiary YOUNG ONE. A better combo would have paired THE YOUNG ONE with Bunuel's other English film, ROBINSON CRUSOE.