Saturday afternoon, I watched Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie. I think the polemical political argument that some contemporary reviewers claim to have seen in the film in 1972 is a little bit hard to detect over 35 years later. But I think that may be a change for the better. The Nation review linked above gets tripped up on the fact that it’s not really clear how a corrupt ambassador from a Latin American country fits into the class struggle, but now that we know the revolution was not, in fact, around the corner I think we can appreciate the bourgeoisie’s discreet charm as genuinely charming. Long story short, for a decades-old classic French film, this is an honest-to-God laugh-out-out funny movie.
Pixies fans will, of course, recall Buñuel as the auteur behind Un Chien Andalou, whose eyeball-slicing scene is the inspiration for “Debaser.” I was saying to myself, “someone should really do a YouTube mashup of the movie with the song” but of course it’s already been done:
The other thing I watched was the first three episodes of Planet Earth on Blu-Ray. This really makes the case for Blu-Ray pretty convincingly; it’s simply jaw-dropping. That said, the series seems to have an anti-American bias. The episode about fresh water doesn’t even mention the Great Lakes! And it goes beyond that to make the controversial claim that Lake Baikal is the largest lake in the world. This is true by volume, by Lake Superior is the biggest by area, which I think is a more intuitive way of understanding the phrase. And either way, it’s hard to understand how you can profile the world’s lakes without mentioning this giant series of lakes we have. Oh well.