Belle De Jour (4K Restoration)

R, 100 minutes

 

A new 4K restoration of Luis Buñuel’s BELLE DE JOUR plays as the third title in a four-part Essential Cinema series dedicated to UNRULY WOMEN in cinema. 

Catherine Deneuve’s porcelain perfection hides a cracked interior in one of the actress’s most iconic roles: Séverine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her after­noon hours working in a bordello. This surreal and erotic late-sixties daydream from provocateur for the ages Luis Buñuel is an examination of desire and fetishistic pleasure (its characters’ and its viewers’), as well as a gently absurdist take on contemporary social mores and class divisions. Fantasy and reality commingle in this burst of cinematic transgression, which was one of Buñuel’s biggest hits. (1967, Luis Buñuel, 100 mins, France, French with English subtitles, R, DCP)

“And above all this, there is a shrewd commentary on the hypocrisy of social relations and sexual politics. Buñuel invites us to ponder the transgression of a respectable woman secretly being a prostitute in the afternoons. But wait. How about a respectable gentleman secretly visiting a prostitute in the afternoon? That happens all the time. Quite normal. The gender stereotype opposition feels like the bowler-hatted man in the Magritte painting seeing his own back in the mirror. A strange, and captivating film.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

 


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