Remastered from the restored 35mm negative, Centre Pompidou France
Poetic, absurd, erotic, visionary and scandalous, L'Age d'or can still "provoke, baffle and delight" (The New York Times) more than seventy years after its creation. "Contriving effronteries so offhanded you can't believe you've actually seen them" (The Village Voice), L'Age d'or showcases the incomparably obsessive cinematic imagination of Luis Buñuel at its beginning and the celebrated surrealism of Salvador Dalí at its peak.
In 1930, following their short film triumph Un chien andalou, Buñuel and Dalí created an hour long avant-garde tour de force that's both an aesthetic avalanche of boldness and a withering attack on a society that elevates pious morality over sexual freedom. As scorpions battle, partisans (led by famed surrealist painter Max Ernst) stumble and the forces of middle-class righteousness repeatedly interrupt two neurotic lovers, L'Age d'or delivers a gleeful fever dream of Freudian unease, bizarre humor and shocking imagery that once experienced cannot be forgotten. Skewering everything from Catholic piety to sexual fetishism, the film provoked riots, was denounced by Mussolini's ambassador, earned its backer a threat of excommunication and was banned by the French Police all within two weeks of its release.
A cherished inspiration for six decades of filmmakers from Hitchcock to David Lynch, Fellini to Monty Python, this justifiably lionized and excoriated masterpiece of 20th century cinema is now available on DVD to challenge, arouse, unnerve, amuse and galvanize the uninitiated for generations to come. Whether parody or polemic, artistic experiment or lurid shaggy-dog charade, L'Age d'or "reassures us that as long as we have eyes, we will still be susceptible to shock" (The New York Times).
***1/2 Recommended Video Librarian
"The most scandalous of all Buñuel's films. Surreal, dreamlike and deliberately, pornographically blashphemous." - Pauline Kael