Friday, 23 September 2016

I've Just Seen: Viridiana (1961)

 Director: Luis Bunuel

I am still not sure what I think of Viridiana. Unlike many other film bloggers, I hold some (though not all, I am not Catholic) of the beliefs that Bunuel is pilloring in his film. I was not offended by what he does in his film, but I was certainly unsettled by it. This clearly says much about me as a person and as a film viewer. However, after reflection, I appreciate the obvious power of Bunuel's filmmaking, that it can spark such feelings. It is good to be shaken up, and good art does this.

And this is art. This is my first proper experience of Bunuel, having only before seen clips from Un Chien Andalou (not the whole thing yet), and one cannot fault his eye for striking and beautiful imagery. The image of Viridiana in her aunt's crisp white wedding dress is arresting in both its illuminosity and its transgressive ideas.

I haven't been scared off by Bunuel, but am wondering what else I am to see and feel in his films.


  1. I think Bunuel was a bit hard on poor Viridiana. There is a bitter edge to his filmmaking and nowhere more than here.

    1. I do too. The scenes with her uncle are creepy in the extreme, and at the film's end she looks absolutely broken. And while strict in her piety, she did have a good heart, if very naive.

      I really appreciated Bunuel's art, but felt deeply uncomfortable at his laughing at Viridiana's loss of meaning in life. Bitter is the right word.