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After 25 years' exile, Luis Buñuel was invited to his native Spain to direct Viridiana -- only to have the Spanish government suppress the film on the grounds of blasphemy and obscenity. Regarded by many as Buñuel's crowning achievement, the film centers on an idealistic young nun named Viridiana (Silvia Pinal). Just before taking her final vows, Viridiana is forced by her mother superior to visit her wealthy uncle Don Jaime (Fernando Rey), who has "selflessly" provided for the girl over the
May 1, 1961 Wide
Feb 28, 2006
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Alicia Jorge Barriga
Jose Manuel Martin
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For Luis Buñuel, impiety is a genetic trait and an essential facet of his art. That his work also lifts the spirit -- imparting a delirious sensation of the divine-is a most welcome incongruity, one exemplified by his prizewinning 1961 effort, Viridiana.
Whether Señor Buñuel means his picture as a reflection of all people or just the people of Spain is not clear nor, indeed, is it essential. It is an ugly, depressing view of life. And, to be frank about it, it is a little old-fashioned, too.
Luis Buñuel returned to his native Spain to create this 1961 masterpiece, which marked his rebirth as a filmmaker of international repute.
Essential and unforgettable.
'Viridiana' probes deep into psychological earth; at the core, it's a despairing picture of the dark cavern of the human heart.
See Viridiana, and all other movies will seem to be missing something from then on.
quintessential Buñuel: a perfect entryway to his work, and a microcosm of his contradictory universe of the beautiful and the grotesque.
It's another of Buñuel's controversial films that is an indictment of organized religion.
The man who made Los Olvidados believes in ... reform. In Viridiana he more fully, and comically, acknowledges the immense hurdles to reform set up by human corruption.
More than 40 years after its original release, Viridiana remains one of the most shocking films ever made.
Viridiana has a deceptively artless quality, stemming from the poetic formality with which Bunuel allows the picture to unfold.
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