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Luis Buñuel

Luis Buñuel

As made clear in his seminal works Viridiana and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie—delirious screeds against, respectively, religion and social conformity—Luis Buñuel was one of cinema’s great subversives and mischief makers. He began his career as a member of the French surrealists—his first films, Un chien andalou and L’âge d’or, absurd and violently sexual scandals that met with censorship, were collaborations with Salvador Dalí. After years of working alternately in his native Spain (where the scintillating, shaming faux documentary Land Without Bread and, later, Viridiana were both banned), the United States, and Mexico, Buñuel made most of his late films in France, combining surrealist non sequiturs with attacks on the bourgeoisie, the church, and social hypocrisy in general in such masterpieces as The Milky Way, The Phantom of Liberty, and That Obscure Object of Desire.