Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sight & Sound Challenge: Viridiana (1961)

Film: Viridiana (45/250) 
Critics Poll: 110th 
Directors Poll: 37th 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Ooh, this one is twisted. Although, coming from Luis Buñuel, I can't say I'm surprised. The only other of his films I've seen is Belle de Jour, which is not for the prudish. I'm also quite ashamed at how little Buñuel I've seen...this challenge will fix that, as there are at least three other of his films on this list! Anyway, Viridiana...the title character is a tightly wound novice about to take her vows when she receives word from her estranged uncle who wants her to visit. She's uncomfortable about it, and for good reason. And man, it's uncomfortable to sit through at certain points too. It's gorgeously shot, full of symbols of religion, childhood, innocence, and the loss of that innocence. A burning crown of thorns. A defiled wedding dress. A parody of the Last Supper. A jump rope tied into a noose. The power of this imagery can't be denied. I'm eager to watch the other Buñuel films on this list if they're half as good as this one. I have a feeling they are.

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