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The Milky Way (Criterion Collection)
The Milky Way
Criterion Collection
Actors: Paul Frankeur, Laurent Terzieff, Alain Cuny, Edith Scob, Bernard Verley
Directors: Julien Gaurichon, Luis Buñuel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
PG     2007     1hr 41min

The first of what Luis Buñuel later proclaimed a trilogy (along with The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Phantom of Liberty) about "the search for truth," The Milky Way (La voie lactée) daringly deconstructs cont...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Paul Frankeur, Laurent Terzieff, Alain Cuny, Edith Scob, Bernard Verley
Directors: Julien Gaurichon, Luis Buñuel
Creators: Luis Buñuel, Jean-Stéphane Michaux, Jenny Orru, Léo Campagne, Serge Silberman, Jean-Claude Carrière
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 08/21/2007
Original Release Date: 08/21/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 08/21/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: French, Italian, Latin

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Movie Reviews

Guards, get that heretic!
Ira S. Moss | Zebulon NC | 08/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Milky Way (1969)
Dir. Maestro Luis Bunuel
One of best movies that analyzes European Christianity and Catholicism with a Surrealistic microscope. Two allegorical pilgrims on there way to Santiago de Compostela from Paris see 2000 years of Orthodoxy through a series of unrelated vignettes dealing with heresies and anathemia. Blasphemy? Hardly. Sacreligous? Never!
Critical in a loving way? Of course. Get this movie. Pierre Clementi rules as the Destroying Angel!
Extras are minimal with 1 short documentry and 2 interviews, one with a critic who sounds like he didn't get it in the first place.
However, this Criterion DVD is packaged with the class that The Milky Way deserves. Subtitles default in English with overlapping text. Original language: French with a touch of Spanish and Mystical Latin. I see this movie as the natural sequel to Simon of the Desert.
Luis Bunuel, filmmaker, Surrealist Extraordinaire, we'll never see his kind again. Nope. Thank God for him!
Coincidence or not, you decide: the timing for the release of this movie and the Mother Theresa journal?!!!!!"
An atheist's guide to spiritual enlightenment
Heavy Theta | Lorton, Va United States | 11/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"despite the weight of the subject at hand, and the disorientation from the rapid montage from one time period to the next, this may be the least surreal of all the French era Bunuels. Within a mix of what for Bunuel seems relatively light provocation, he presents a series of historical religious events that amplify his critique of the Church for it's losing its way through its obsession with infallible detail that contradicts itself as it evolves. i confess that as a fan of the parable of the good samaritan, i share a sense of befuddlement at the intolerance and exclusivity of the fundamentalists of any religion, let alone one founded on love and tolerance.

but what makes Bunuel's argument so interesting is his avowed atheist stance. from his earliest movies on, he has ridiculed the folly of authoritarian ascension, seemingly maintaining full grasp of the beauty of the original that lies beneath the facade. he opens the door for the viewer, while demonstratively refusing to take the step through for himself. one can only wonder what motivations lay at the heart of an artist whose gifts produce such clarity."
One of the best
J M Supersonic | SA ,TX | 08/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"get this favorite scene is when the virgin Mary calls over jesus, after he gives a speech at a dinner, and tells him we're out of wine can you do something. so Bunuel. unlike no other."
Why we must grow a beard.
Adolph Pinelad | Montreal, Quebec Canada | 09/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If for no other reason, this film is relevant for making you understand why beards are important.
After some time of one's relationship with film, it eventually becomes clear that Luis Buñuel is master of cinema. At first his very straightforward style of filmmaking (specifically in this film) seems quite sober (which it is), but true transcendence and a degree of experimentation is achieved along the lines of narrative and ideas. The milky way as the two main characters travel back and forth through time during their "linear" pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. This is an experiment with narrative, not so much with cinema as a medium. Better said, it is an experiment with storytelling, yet other aspects of cinema remain rooted in the classic tradition. With Buñuel, this is a good thing.

The milky way is a film that clearly expounds Buñuel's fine sense of humor. Buñuel has a humor that is truly unique, and this results in utterly unique works of cinema. It is a humor that is truly humanistic, irreverent as though it may be.
One particular scene that I truly enjoyed was when the two pilgrims are at a truly horrific/comedic presentation at an all girls school, where the young students mechanically recite reasons for ex-communion from the church to the very enthusiast parents. In a contiguous scene we see a band of revolutionaries executing the pope (played by Buñuel for further irony). When the gunshot is heard by the parents attending the meeting back at the school one of them asks bemused: "What was that?" one of the pilgrims replies "Oh... I was just imagining the pope being shot".
There are plenty of other examples of such exquisite comicality so particular to the mind of Buñuel (I might have slightly distorted the last scene in my retelling of it -it has been a while since I have seen the film).

The milky way is incredibly witty, exploring the absurd that makes us human. Buñuel's atheism is not to be misunderstood.
It is the atheism that comes hand in hand with reason for sure, but at the same time there is an understanding for the cultural value
of religion. It is clear that there has been great proximity to catholicism during his upbringing. And when you grow up surrounded
by ideas and images as those of most religions, and confront these to reason, you have no choice but to become a surrealist, after having
evidenced people choosing or made to believe in the absurd.
It is a work of subtle cinema, but the ideas set forth and played with in this film remain with you. Buñuel can be both for the semi-casual viewer, as
well as for the intellectual, without offending or driving away either kind of viewing you may be prepared to give his work."