Repertory Picks

The Wealthy Gone Wild in Indiana

Tomorrow evening at 7, as one of the courses in its Dastardly Dinners series, the Indiana University Cinema will give moviegoers a chance to feast their eyes on Luis Buñuel’s 1962 The Exterminating Angel. One of the handful of late-career works (also including The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie) in which the great Spanish director used the dinner-party setting to inspired satirical ends, this slyly experimental film tracks a posh gathering’s surreal descent into chaos, as the well-to-do guests find they’re unable to leave the grounds of the mansion where they’ve dined. A send-up of the codes and conventions that govern high society, the absurd, savagely funny The Exterminating Angel serves up some sobering food for thought. As scholar Marsha Kinder writes in her liner essay for our edition of this masterpiece, “Though the insiders at first seem to be the only ones who are trapped, the film eventually reveals that the trap extends outward to encompass outsiders (including us spectators), who are all caught in the same network of bourgeois corruption, but on a much larger scale.”

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