Luis Buñuel’s Cinéastes de notre temps

In 1964, André S. Labarthe and Janine Bazin kicked off the legendary television program Cinéastes de notre temps—an ongoing series of documentary profiles exploring some of the world’s greatest filmmakers—with a spotlight on Luis Buñuel. Now playing on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, this thirty-eight-minute episode, directed by Robert Valey, features an illuminating conversation with the Spanish iconoclast, who opens up about everything from his views on surrealism and his experiences in the U.S. to his relationships with luminaries such as Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca. Along the way, a host of collaborators, friends, and family share their own impressions of Buñuel’s life and work.

One of the many memorable moments in the documentary is a brief interview with Father Arteta, a Jesuit priest at Colegio del Salvador, the boarding school that Buñuel attended in his youth. Though the director professed to have fond memories of his strict education, he was often accused of sacrilege for his provocative approach to spiritual themes—most notably in Viridiana, which was condemned by the Vatican after winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Check out the above clip for Father Arteta’s thoughts on one of cinema’s great blasphemers, then head to the Channel for the full episode, streaming along with a selection of Buñuel’s films and other Cinéastes episodes.

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