Bunuel's BEST - and that's saying quite a lot.
Donkey Dick | Blubber Land | 08/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A brilliant concept if I've ever heard one, Bunuel's finest film involves a group at a dinner party who are inexplicably unable to go home. Absolutely nothing is holding them back -- doors are unlocked, there are no barriers -- but they just can't leave the house. Kind of a precursor to Godard's 1967 masterpiece, WEEKEND, we then witness socialites and the upper-class reduced to barbaric acts of desperation. Although Bunuel claims ANGEL has no literal meaning, his contempt for the rich has never been more obvious, and he would return to similar terrain with 1972's DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE, where dinner guests find themselves unable to sit down and eat. Subtle surreal touches round off this film, as random scenes repeat for absolutely no reason and sheep run about the house; not to mention the frustratingly incomprehensible yet inexplicably appropriate final scenes."
Donkey Dick | 10/11/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When invited guests arrive for an elegant dinner party and find themselves unable to leave the dining room, Spanish surreal master Luis Bunuel, enters the undeworld of human desires and relations, peeling the crust of the burgoeis thinking and emancipating the subconcious of all the characters. After three days, hunger, thirst and desperation take over, leaving the semi-savage guests to undergo a formidable transformation of both, mind and spirit. After hearing the disturbing news, the social institutions (police, army, politicians, even other citizens) are unable to even enter the house, moved by the same invisible force. Filmed in 1962 and considered by many his greatest surreal film after L'age D'or, Exterminating Angel gives Bunuel a chance to go back to his cultural roots of the French Surrealism, not allowing culture, education, religion or other institutions to interfere with the content of characterization but to allow his characters to roam free like dreams or sometimes nightmares in a world of pre-fabricated emotions.Arthur A. Sabina New York END"
David A. Roman | Los Angeles, CA | 03/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The film's central characters are overcome by their bourgeois sense of propriety and, due to pretense, are seemingly trapped in an opulent parlor room by their incapacity to overcome their own outrageous forms of hypocritical propriety. The inability to leave the dinner party first grows to absurd proportions leading to the inability of all attendees to leave at all. They are psychologically impaired and degenerate, slowly, into their basest elements until they realize, collectively, that escape is possible. Rejecting rationalism, and accessing the unconscious desires of mankind, is at the heart of this film. The constructs of man, the masks of artifice he appropriates, are fashioned out of rationalism and serve to obfuscate reality. Man becomes pretentious, corrupt, immoral, and despondent because he has lost sense of himself. For Buñuel, the bourgeoisie is ripe for attack, given that they shape and determine the values of their society. If our social leaders reject true humanity, then how can society hope to find truth? For Buñuel, humanity cannot thrive under such conditions. Hell is divestiture from the self.This film is for anyone who enjoys an intelligent and beautiful film (Cinematography by Mexican master Gabriel Figueroa). Buñuel is clearly one of the greatest pillars of modern film."
All Time Classic
Scott | MI | 01/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Exterminating Angel is a brilliant movie. Luis Bunuel is one of the few directors to be able to create a completely fascinating world with seemingly mundane ideas. The film is about guests arriving at a dinner party and for various reasons are unable to leave. This simple, but interesting premise illustrates how we do not live our lives in any logical fashion and how the situations with which we are faced are what shape our world not anything as ridiculous as free will. For anyone who can see life as it really is and not brainwashed by our societies propoganda this is the most entertaining movie ever made about human nature. This is not a movie to take a date to it is one to be savored the rest of your life as you watch an innocent situation turn into the most thought provoking film you will ever see. The pace is slow, but in the hands of Bunuel it is also very entertaining and yes funny."