Luis Buñuel Biography
Luis Buñuel was a Spanish filmmaker born on 22 February 1900 – 29 July 1983 in Calanda, Teruel, Spain as Luis Buñuel Portolés. In his acting career, Buñuel worked in Spain, Mexico and France.
Buñuel started work as a secretary in an organization called the International Society of Intellectual Cooperation in 1925. He also became actively involved in cinema and theater, going to the movies as often as three times a day. Buñuel first appeared on screen in a small part as a smuggler in Jacques Feyder’s Carmen (1926).
Buñuel made films from the 1920s through the 1970s. His work spans two continents, three languages, and an array of genres, including experimental film, documentary, melodrama, satire, musical, erotica, comedy, romance, costume dramas, fantasy, crime film, adventure, and western.
When Buñuel died on July 29, 1983 at the age of 83, his obituary in The New York Times called him “an iconoclast, moralist, and revolutionary who was a leader of avant-garde surrealism in his youth and a dominant international movie director half a century later”.
Buñuel’s first film, Un Chien Andalou—made in the silent era—was called “the most famous short film ever made” by critic Roger Ebert, and his last film, That Obscure Object of Desire—made 48 years later—won him Best Director awards from the National Board of Review and the National Society of Film Critics. Writer Octavio Paz called Buñuel’s work “the marriage of the film image to the poetic image, creating a new reality…scandalous and subversive”.
Six of Buñuel’s films are included in Sight & Sound’s 2012 critics’ poll of the top 250 films of all time. Fifteen of his films are included in the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? list of the 1,000 greatest films of all time, second only to Jean-Luc Godard, with sixteen, and he ranks number 13 on their list of the top 250 directors.
Luis Bunuel Education
He studied at the private Colegio del Salvador but was kicked and insulted by the study hall proctor before a final exam and refused to return to the school. Buñuel finished the last two years of his high school education at the local public school. In 1917, he attended the University of Madrid, first studying agronomy then industrial engineering and finally switching to philosophy.
Luis Bunuel Family
He was the son to Leonardo Buñuel, the cultivated scion of an established Aragonese family, and María Portolés, many years younger than her husband, with wealth and family connections of her own. Buñuel was the oldest of seven children having two brothers, Alfonso and Leonardo, and four sisters: Alicia, Concepción, Margarita and María.
Luis Bunuel Un Chien Andalou
Co-written by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, this silent film was made completely according to surrealist principles and includes some of the most searing and memorable images ever filmed.
Initial release: 6 June 1929 (France)
Director: Luis Buñuel
Producers: Luis Buñuel, Pierre Braunberger
Cinematography: Albert Duverger, Jimmy Berliet
Screenplay: Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí
Luis Bunuel Movie About Dinner
Edmundo Nobile (Enrique Rambal) invites friends over for an opulent dinner party. While the guests enjoy their food, the servants disappear one by one. Afterward, the visitors retire to the salon for an evening of music and conversation — but in the morning, they are mysteriously incapable of leaving the room. As days go by and they run out of food and water, panic and madness set in. The army and the police arrive, but fail in their attempts to enter the house as conditions inside deteriorate.
Initial release: 16 December 1962 (Spain)
Director: Luis Buñuel
Music composed by: Raúl Lavista
Screenplay: Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcoriza
Story by: Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcoriza, José Bergamín
Luis Bunuel Midnight In Paris
Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is a screenwriter and aspiring novelist. Vacationing in Paris with his fiancee (Rachel McAdams), he has taken to touring the city alone. On one such late-night excursion, Gil encounters a group of strange — yet familiar — revelers, who sweep him along, apparently back in time, for a night with some of the Jazz Age’s icons of art and literature. The more time Gil spends with these cultural heroes of the past, the more dissatisfied he becomes with the present.
Initial release: 13 May 2011 (Spain)
Director: Woody Allen
Featured song: I Remember When
Screenplay: Woody Allen
Awards: Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, MORE
Luis Bunuel Quotes
- If someone were to prove to me — right this minute — that God, in all his luminousness, exists, it wouldn’t change a single aspect of my behavior.
- God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed.
- I’m still an atheist, thank God.
- A paranoiac, like a poet, is born, not made.
- The decline of the aperitif may well be one of the most depressing phenomena of our time.
- I can only wait for the final amnesia, the one that can erase an entire life.
- In the name of Hippocrates, doctors have invented the most exquisite form of torture ever known to man: survival.
- Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.
- Tobacco and alcohol, delicious fathers of abiding friendships and fertile reveries.
- If you were to ask me if I’d ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I’d have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead.
Luis Buñuel Books
- My Last Sigh: The Autobiography of Luis Bunuel
- An Unspeakable Betrayal: Selected Writings of Luis Buñuel
- My Last Breath
- Beautiful day ;: A movie
- My Last Sigh
- Three Screenplays: Viridiana, The Exterminating Angel, Simon of the Desert
- An Andalusian dog
- Exterminating Angel, Nazarin
- Escritos de Luis Bunuel
- The Exterminating Angel / Los Olvidados
- Belle de Jour
Luis Bunuel Movies
- 1929 An Andalusian dog
- 1930 Eating Bats
- 1930 L’Age d’Or
- 1933 Las Hurdes: Land Without Bread
- 1947 Grand Casino (aka In Old Tampico )
- 1949 The Great Skull
- 1950 The forgotten
- 1951 Susana
- 1951 The daughter of deceit
- 1952 Climb to heaven
- 1952 A woman without love
- 1953 The brute
- 1953 He
- 1954 The illusion travels by tram
- 1954 Abysses of passion(aka Wuthering Heights )
- 1954 Robinson Crusoe
- 1955 Trial of a crime
- 1955 The river and death
- 1956 It’s called dawn
- 1956 Death in this garden
- 1959 Nazarín
- 1959 The fever rises in El Pao
- 1960 The young
- 1961 Viridiana
- 1962 The exterminating angel
- 1964 The journal of a maid
- 1965 Simon of the desert
- 1967 Beautiful day
- 1969 The Milky Way
- 1970 Tristana
- 1972 The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie
- 1974 The ghost of freedom
- 1977 That Obscure Object of Desire
Luis Bunuel Tributes
- In 1994, a retrospective of Buñuel’s works was organized by the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle in Bonn, as homage to one of the most internationally revered figures in world cinema. This was followed in the summer of 1996 by a commemoration of the centenary of the birth of cinema held by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, which included a unique retrospective, jointly sponsored by the King of Spain and the President of Mexico, called ¿Buñuel!. La mirada del siglo, honoring his special status as Spanish cinema’s most emblematic figure.
- A secondary school in Zaragoza, Spain has been named for Buñuel: Instituto de Educación Secundaria Ies Luis Buñuel. Liceo Español Luis Buñuel, a Spanish international school, is near Paris.
- In Calanda, Spain a bust of the head of Luis Buñuel is on display at the Centro Buñuel Calanda (CBC), a museum devoted to the director. The mission of the CBC is to serve as a reference center both for connoisseurs of Buñuel and for anyone interested in the arts of Aragon.
- One of the main theatres at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, where the Cannes Film Festival is held, is named after him: Salle Buñuel.
- To mark the centenary of his birth, in 2000 the Cannes festival partnered with the Spanish film industry, to pay tribute to Luis Buñuel. This tribute consisted of three events: (1) the inauguration, for Cannes 2000, of the Palace’s new Luis Buñuel room, (2) an original exhibition organized by L’Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales entitled “The Secret World of Buñuel”, and (3) an exceptional projection of Viridiana, the Palme d’Or winner in 1961, in the presence of specially invited artists.
- The Luis Buñuel Film Institute (LBFI) is housed in the Downtown Independent Theatre, Los Angeles, and has as its mission: “to form the vital and innovative arena for the promotion of the work of Luis Buñuel, and a seminal resource for the development of new research, knowledge and scholarship on his life and work, extending across his body of films and writings.”
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