Selections from FILM CULTURE Magazine (1955-1996)

Below is a quote from Luis Buñuel, taken from his 1960 article (manifesto?) “The Statement.” This short gem (as well as several other articles from the Film Culture magazine) was recently added to UbuWeb.

Image of Luis Buñuel2. Mystery is a basic element of all works of art. It is generally lacking on the screen. Writers, directors and producers take good care in avoiding anything that may upset us. They keep the marvelous window on the liberating world of poetry shut. They prefer stories which seem to continue our ordinary lives, which repeat for the umpteenth time the same drama, which help us forget the hard hours of our daily work. And all this, of course, carefully watched over by traditional morals, government and international censorship, religion, good taste, white humour and other flat dicteria of reality.

Almost fifty years later and how powerfully his words resonate, perhaps even more so given our current cultural famine in regards to all things filmic.

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1 Response to Selections from FILM CULTURE Magazine (1955-1996)

  1. Tony D'Ambra says:

    Tks for this post Jim.

    The article by Bunuel is short and is worth reading in its entirety: Luis Buñuel "A
    Statement" (1960)
    .

    Bunuel also says inter-alia:

    Unfortunately, the great majority of today’s films… glory in an
    intellectual and moral vacuum. In this vacuum, movies seem to prosper… 
    If a man in the audience shares the joys and sorrows of a character on the
    screen, it should be because that character reflects the joys and sorrows of
    all society and so the personal feelings of that man in the audience.
    Unemployment, insecurity, the fear of war, social injustice, etc., affect
    all men of our time, and thus, they also affect the individual spectator.

    Sadly nothing has changed in nearly 50 years – not only in Hollywood but elsewhere.

    Ironically though, in Bunuel’s case, like many others film-makers, including Orson Welles, he never made a movie that appealed to a “man in the audience”. This is the tragedy of much of the film-making that aspires to a grander vision: they are too intellectual and distant from the lives of everyman. For a film to connect with the audience, there must be an emotive and shared experience, not intellectual musing and cold detachment where technique overwhelms deeper universal meaning.

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