• Whether trapped in a mansion or on a pillar, their characters aren’t going anywhere, and lambs and sheep have a habit of wandering into frame—Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel and Simon of the Desert make a perfect matched set indeed, as critics have been enjoying discovering, or rediscovering, on the occasion of our release last week of this pair of Mexican-era gems, for the first time in North America.

    In the New York Times, Dave Kehr writes: “Long out of circulation, The Exterminating Angel (1962) and Simon of the Desert (1965) . . . remain among the most free-spirited of Buñuel’s films, fully recovering the nonnarrative liberty of his earliest work. These are both movies in which, by conventional terms, nothing much really happens, but a lot goes on.” Dennis Lim, in the Los Angeles Times, also joins the two films, calling them “the culminating glories of his Mexican period.”

    “Beautiful, hilarious, prime Buñuel, on the last legs of his underrated and underexamined Mexico period,” enthuses Michael Atkinson at IFC Film News. And Armond White sums it all up: with this “double bill revival of surrealism,” he writes in the New York Press, “Buñuel bounces back into film culture with vigorous intelligence and pertinence. If you don’t know Angel and Simon, you don’t [know] what makes Buñuel matter—which means you don’t know how great movies can be.”

    Read more at Vman, Greencine Daily, The Onion, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

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