Monday, July 23, 2012

The Not So Discrete Elitism of the Bourgeoisie

On our first exciting journey into London, exploring various cultural differences, we ventured to the British Film Institute to see a screening of Luis Bunuel's film, The Discrete Charm of The Bourgeoisie. Despite the fact that this film was filmed in 1972, it is apparent that the British Film Institute choose to screen this movie because Bunuel addresses various issues, such as elitism and selfishness, that still plague upper-middle class society. For instance, the dream sequences that various characters experience, create a circular plot that seems to mimic the perpetual nothingness of their everyday lives. In the dreams, events take place that leads the audience to believe that the story line is taking on one set direction, but then the characters awake during the climax of the dreams, diverting the scene back to the original inconsistent plot. Bunuel is attempting the highlight the idea that the upper-middle class bourgeoisie often are so wrapped up in their own self centered worlds that it appears there is no real direction to their lives. Moreover, the reoccurring scene of them walking along the road, looking almost bored, with no apparent destination, strengthens Bunuel's satire of the bourgeoisie and their mundane lives. Furthermore, Bunuel addresses the Bourgeoisie hypocritical, elitist snobbery in the scene with the Bishop who comes dressed as a gardener looking for work. When the first encounter the Bishop in his dirty, common attire, they throw him out and reprimand the maid for allowing him into the house. They immediately judge the man based on his appearance. When he comes back dressed in his robe however, they apologize and immediately hire him. However, they do not apologize to the maid. This encounter highlights the prejudices the upper middle class have toward the lower, working class. Overall, Bunuel's 1972 film is a accurate and timeless interpenetration of the bourgeoisie and their attitudes towards society.

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