Today is Luis Buñuel’s birthday!
Exchange from Whit Stillman’s great film Metropolitan:
CHARLIE: Do you know the French film, “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”? When I first heard the title, I thought, “Finally, someone’s going to tell the truth about the bourgeoisie.” What a disappointment! It would be hard to imagine a less fair or accurate portrait.
SALLY: Of course, Bunuel’s a surrealist—despising the bourgeoisie’s part of their credo.
NICK: Where do they get off?
CHARLIE: The truth is, the bourgeoisie does have a lot of charm.
NICK: Of course it does. The surrealists were just a lot of social climbers.
From Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris:
MAN RAY: A man in love with a woman from a different era. I see a photograph.
BUNUEL: I see a film!
GIL: I see an insurmountable problem.
DALI: I see … a rhinoceros!
Again, from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris:
GIL: Oh! Mr. Bunuel! I had a nice idea for a movie for you.
GIL: A group of people attend a very formal dinner party and at the end of dinner when they try to leave the room, they can’t.
BUNUEL: Why not?
GIL: They just can’t seem to exit the door.
BUNUEL: But why?
GIL: When they’re forced to stay together the veneer of civilization quickly fades away and what you’re left with is who they really are. Animals.
BUNUEL: I don’t get it. Why don’t they just walk out of the room?
GIL: All I’m saying is, just think about it. Maybe when you’re shaving one day, it’ll tickle your fancy.
BUNUEL: But I don’t understand. What’s holding them in the room?
Screengrabs from The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)