The Milkyway by Luis Bunuel

July 30, 2007 at 12:59 pm 3 comments

The MilkyWay By Luis Bunuel
A series of scenes on religion by Bunuel. I couldn’t help, but feel watching this film how old conceptualism feels at times. Yeah everything is an object, you can manipulate it, and make meaning with the cinematic image alone (one scene features a policeman contradicting a father, hence when the law contradicts religion, religion relents), but later film makers like Greenaway, Godard, or Hartley did a much better job of making film into meaninful objects while Bunuel perhaps started the craze. Conceptualism can surprisingly shrink your means of interpretation, while previously I could have written mountains on how each film made me feel, I feel more like Bunuel just kinda missed the boat. While The Milkyway is perhaps complex at times and features an assortment of different arguements and opinions, it feels dated. The issues of religion these days don’t center on it’s validity or the work of heretics, but on how to out compete The Purpose Driven Life (and is it just me or do Californian NGO workers seem to be nearing religious rapture in volunteer work there days?). Bunuel is perhaps best taken via DVD, after all with a DVD you can pause, look up that fresco, tablaeu, or religious scripture he’s qouting from and make more sense of the scene, but The Milkyway is enjoyable regardless, I love how the characters walk through time in such a fashion that you experience 17th century duals as an ordinary part of their world, and the joke about shooting the pope is still funny today. In the end The Milkyway is engrossing and humorous film making, not Bunuel’s best, but still reminds of how far film could go before it’s conceptual entrapments became cliched. Bunuel needed words, the text, to dictate his films while the modern day artist works in forms of intelligence not expressed verbally, but perhaps best explained by neurology. By this I mean Bunuel had conscious visual metaphors and statements to make literal textual meaning, while many artists these days focus more on film for film’s sake manipulating images etc until they build a library of images and shots that express newness even if they don’t necessarily know what they mean consciouslly. We’ve moved beyond just reading films, and taken art as an exercise into what we can train ourselves to do. If that has provided us with the satisfaction of a good Godard movie, I don’t know, but the idea at least is kinda fresh.

Entry filed under: art, media.

Words: Gary Davis, The Brotherhood, Kingdom Come, and Fur links for 2007-07-30

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ritwik Banerjee  |  July 30, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I have not seen any of Bunuel’s films, but I think I understand what you are saying. I would rather associate meaning to thought forms rather than objects. That is perhaps the reason why I find such parallels drawn between concepts and objects somewhat constricting and even suffocating at times.

  • 2. dignifieddevil  |  July 31, 2007 at 8:15 am

    yeah that seems to be about it. I’m not entirely sure what thought forms are, but I’m asdsuming you mean expressing the form of a thought or getting the feeling of meaning than say making something that when broken down into words has an exact literal meaning. I checked out your blog BTW and thought it was pretty cool.

  • 3. Ritwik Banerjee  |  August 1, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    That is exactly what I meant by a thought form. You understood it perfectly.

    And, I am glad you liked my blog. 🙂


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