Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stars Like Onions Hanging to Dry

The Milky Way (1969)
directed by Luis Buñuel
rating: 4 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

The charge against religion in Buñuel’s films is not necessarily hypocrisy, but the short-sightedness of men’s convictions to righteousness, which never transcend the didactic to accomplish anything of measurable worth. Here, the time-traveling narrative addresses specific Catholic claims of heresy through the ages - benchmarks of the ridiculous things that men do to men - and although it should all be too much, Buñuel is as light as a bird. The bottom line for the movie’s two protagonists, men without shoes or a bite to eat, is a conversation they share as they approach the beautiful vista of La Concha de San Sebastian in Spain:

“Give me the Riviera any day.”
“Ever been there?”
“No, but it’s probably better.”
“All these places are for people with cash.”

Ever hungry, surrounded by mysteries, the two men travel on.