Monday, March 31, 2008

La Mort en ce jardin (Death in the Garden/Evil Eden)

The eponymous garden is an inhospitable South American jungle into which stumbles an assorted group of escapees from a repressive military regime in a remote mining community. Much of the film is spent sketching this community (and political situation) and setting up the characters to sidestep our expectations when they are exposed in the wilderness, where they have a tough time of it before their salvation also proves their downfall as a group. Buñuel allows his characters the freedom of action that comes with complete amorality in a world where life is cheap, and although ostensibly an adventure film (Vanel and first-half setting recall La Salaire de la peur) it plods somewhat until the flight, and the Buñuelian fun only begins in the forest: a mute girl gets her long hair decorously entwined in the trees, a horde of ants reanimates a snake carcass, and the priest (a very young Michel Piccoli) tears pages from his bible, presumably as toilet paper.

d Luis Buñuel p Óscar Dancigers sc Luis Alcoriza, Gabriel Arout, Luis Buñuel, Raymond Queneau ph Jorge Stahl Jr ed Denise Charvein, Marguerite Renoir pd Edward Fitzgerald m Paul Misraki cast Simone Signoret, Charles Vanel, Georges Marchal, Michel Piccoli, Tito Junco, Raúl Ramirez, Michèle Girardon, Jorge Martínez de Hoyos
(1956, Mex, 104m)
posted by tom newth at

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