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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:34 pm 

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

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In Luis Buñuel's deliciously satiric masterpiece, an upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts continually thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and imagined. Fernando Rey, Stéphane Audran, Delphine Seyring, and Jean-Pierre Cassel head the extraordinary cast of this 1972 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. Criterion is proud to present The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in an exclusive Special Edition Double-Disc Set.

Special Features

-Beautiful new widescreen high-definition transfer of the film, enhanced for 16×9 televisions
-El náufrago de la calle de Providencia (The Castaway on the Street of Providence, 1970): a 24-minute documentary homage to Buñuel by his longtime friends Arturo Ripstein and Rafael Castanedo
-A propósito de Buñuel (Speaking of Buñuel, 2000): a new 98-minute documentary on the life and work of Buñuel by Jose Luis López-Linares and Javier Rioyo
-Buñuel filmography
-Original theatrical trailer
-New and improved optional English subtitle translation
-Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:03 pm 
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Film Forum (NYC) press release:

October 6-12 One Week!
Luis Buñuel's THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE
New 35mm Print!
(1972) It's mealus interruptus (and coitus interruptus and un- interruptus) for the six friends at Stéphane Audran's sophisticated cocktail party where everything (and nothing) happens: the group arrives (and re-arrives) to find they've gotten the day wrong, the proprietor lies dead in the next room, the army drops in for maneuvers, the cops decide to make a major drug bust, a complete stranger joins them to tell of his ghost-ridden and murderous childhood. But no matter what, these bourgeois will always maintain their gracious politesse and style in Buñuel's hallucinatory masterpiece.


So does that mean we'll be getting a Criterion re-release?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:28 pm 
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I doubt it. The current DVD is six years old, and I can hardly imagine it looking any better. Has anyone had any complaints about the disc?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:49 pm 
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Yes. It presents the film in the wrong aspect ratio. The box advertises the correct 1.66:1 but the transfer is around 1.78:1. I love Bunuel's work enough that I would go ahead and buy a re-release of this. But regardless of projected sales figures for this I think Criterion should admit their mistake and correct it.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:25 am 
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I just saw this today. What a strange, strange movie, and I think I'll have to think about it a while. Thoroughly amusing and strangely gripping, and about as dark as a leopard in a submarine.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:21 am 
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Magic Hate Ball wrote:
I just saw this today. What a strange, strange movie, and I think I'll have to think about it a while. Thoroughly amusing and strangely gripping, and about as dark as a leopard in a submarine.

great... you're hooked... now watch more Buñuel!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:16 am 
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Magic Hate Ball wrote:
I just saw this today. What a strange, strange movie, and I think I'll have to think about it a while. Thoroughly amusing and strangely gripping, and about as dark as a leopard in a submarine.

Sounds like you might be ready for a flock of sheep and a bear at a dinner party. (viz. Exterminating Angel)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
Sounds like you might be ready for a flock of sheep and a bear at a dinner party. (viz. Exterminating Angel)

or two actresses and one character. (viz. That Obscure Object of Desire)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:00 am 
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Caught this one on the Sundance Channel (DVR). This is the first Buñuel movie I've unequivocally loved from start to finish without reservations or feeling the pressure to 'get' the man behind the surrealist narrative. I liked "Viridiana" and "Obscure Object of Desire" enough, but "Bourgeoisie" was just a pleasant 'sit back and LOL along with the flick' romp. Fernando Rey just oozes movie star coolness as he struggles with his unending plight of gettind down to enjoy dinner. :P Using sharp satire (a Bishop that is treated differently when he dresses up as a gardener), dream-within-a-dream logic (just where are these six people walking toward down that road?) and social commentary (we root for Rey's character when he's confronted by a woman terrorist even though she's technically the good guy) Buñuel delivers the laughs at an almost fever-pitch pace (for him). Even the supporting actors in minor roles (particularly Milena Vukotic's Ines) get their little moments of wacky cool under the director's spotlight. "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" is neither discreet or charming but it's certainly as accessible and funny as Buñuel movies come. Did I mention Fernando Rey is one cool, suave and classy mother f***er?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:25 pm 
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Out of Print as of June 30, 2010.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:04 am 
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Between this film and Obscure Object, has anyone ever looked more at ease in a silk dressing gown than Fernando Rey?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:52 am 
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Criterion Contraption


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:57 am 
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I like the section in the Criterion Contraption piece about the intercut scenes of the characters 'walking down the road of life' and sticking to the marked highway as being more purposeful and motivated than just aimless wandering. In a way it is as condemnatory of the characters as being purposeless would be. Making them more single minded and mercenary in the pursuit of their goals.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:13 am 
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Zinoviev wrote:
Between this film and Obscure Object, has anyone ever looked more at ease in a silk dressing gown than Fernando Rey?

Pauline Kael once called Rey "probably the most believable man of the world in contemporary movies", and it's hard to think of a plausible alternative.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 6:45 pm 

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Coming out on Blu-ray in the UK


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Might be time to move on from my beloved Criterion DVD. :-/ Mixed feelings.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:48 pm 
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There is room for improvement over the decent Criterion release.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:54 pm 
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I finally got the Blu-Ray that's widely available in the UK. I no longer have the Criterion DVD to compare it to, by going by memory of that DVD and the excellent 35mm print I saw at MoMA a few years ago, this is not a bad Blu-Ray disc. Definitely better than the Criterion DVD...

…but there's definitely room for improvement. They did a good job in that they made all the right choices in transferring and mastering this material, but it doesn't look like they had all the money and time in the world to get something amazing. The grain alone is a dead giveaway that this isn't a 4k transfer - the form and movement is too coarse, but at least it's all there. The print is pretty good, but you can see little imperfections fly by once in a while, stuff that could be cleaned up without issue if they had a bigger budget. The color looks spot on - it seems to match the palette I remember from both the Criterion DVD and that film print: a muted, rather pastel palette instead of anything bold or brilliant.

It loses the documentaries on the Criterion DVD, but otherwise, if you want this in HD, I think this is an excellent option, especially since the DVD set fetches so much money.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:03 pm 
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hearthesilence wrote:
I finally got the Blu-Ray that's widely available in the UK. I no longer have the Criterion DVD to compare it to, by going by memory of that DVD and the excellent 35mm print I saw at MoMA a few years ago, this is not a bad Blu-Ray disc. Definitely better than the Criterion DVD...

There was a Canadian Blu-Ray which might have been a twin to the UK release -- but it is now out of print and costs a fortune.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:15 pm 
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Wow, seriously? I almost bought that myself a few years ago, but this was right after Amazon.ca jacked up shipping rates to the U.S. (not their fault, I think Canada and the U.S. both had made absurd increases on package rates to each other). It would've been $20-30 after shipping, I forgot which, but I wasn't paying that for a nearly bare bones package. (The one interview on the disc is all right, but c'mon.)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:33 pm 
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I've only watched the Canadian Blu-Ray once, right after it was released. but recall it looked a lot better than the Criterion DVD. (I ordered several items, so the per item shipping was less per item).


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:39 am 
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DISCUSSION ENDS DECEMBER 18th.

Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

I encourage members to submit questions, either those designed to elicit discussion and point out interesting things to keep an eye on, or just something you want answered. This will be extremely helpful in getting discussion started. Starting is always the hardest part, all the more so if it's unguided. Questions can be submitted to me via PM.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:56 pm 
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The "worker bishop" is probably my favorite character in all of Bunuel's films. After being (temporarily) in "limbo" with the rest of the crew, he escapes after fulfilling his duties as both a son and as a priest (albeit in a highly unconventional manner). ;-)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:03 pm 
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I need to revisit this now that I have the new Blu-Ray box but the last time I saw (some of) it was when visiting home for Christmas a few years ago and it was inexplicably playing on Cinemax in the middle of the day. I'm pretty sure it was followed by one of the Rush Hour movies, so maybe Armond White was guest programming


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Strange combo.

I think I have Discreet Charm pretty much memorized...


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