Tristana's beauty is the first instance of association we make in our mind. We see her, we see the old man Lope, already we wonder if he will make advances on her. He will, however disturbing the idea may be given he's her guardian.
Poor Saturno thinks that now because he and Tristana are both handicapped, he has a better shot with her. His advances fail. Can't he just get a peak? What's next for him - will he go on living? As soon as he bends down to pick up that rock, my mind automatically assumes he'll be persistent in his advance and ask her to flash him. She does so, backing him into the garden where he presumably masturbates to the image. I was hoping more would be made of this relationship, but it suggests she is carefree of the consequences to anything. However, she's already been here, so it's nothing new. It is a statement that she has no loyalty to Lope, even if he took her in sick.
There's a great shot of Saturno wheeling Tristana through a courtyard past a baby carriage while she's eating a cone - she recognizes the association, that some part of her is lapping the luxury of being a big baby now.
This film is somewhat an exercise in cruelty, that the love in a man's heart is superficial. When Tristana becomes sick, her new lover, the artist Horatio, brings her back to Lope for care. Lope accepts and wants Horatio kept away, but when he finds out she has to amputate her leg, he tries bringing Horatio back into the picture. This scenario fails, Horatio checking his watch, anticipating his visitation time being up as she tries to entertain him with a piano suite. She senses he doesn't love her, and pushes him away. Now she's all to Lope, who still wants to be with her, but who she does not feel anything for besides what she knows she can use him for.
The end is confusing. I can't say exactly for sure what we're looking at. The dream of Lope's swinging bell-rung head recurs, mixed in with other replaying images from the film, and finally back where we started, the field where they arrived with Saturno, but instead of entering, they're exiting.
In a nutshell the film follows the story of a young Spanish girl Tristana (Catherine Deneve) who we discover at the start has been adopted by her recently deceased mother's friend Don Lope (Fernando Rey).
What begins as an apparent adopted father/daughter relationship we discover turns into a more sexual nature although this is not shown on screen.
Tristana begins the film as a timid virgin.
Don Lope is a typical miserable socialist who would rather live with the minimum of material possessions to fund a workshy lifestyle.
As the film develops Tristana breaks free from the hold of Lope and flees with lover Horacio (Franco Nero who some may recognise from Django and Django Unchained).
However Tristan develops a setios illness and for some reason moves back in with Lope even taking the vow of marriage.
She has her ill leg amputated and develops a sinister streak redulting in her inaction when Lope is dying.
What begins the film as a timid young girl is now a confident/vengeful woman.
Director Luis Bu├▒uel tells a good story of revenge in a world cinema (Spanish) setting.
The film does not have the pacing of your average Hollywood release and this will probably put many off but it is a good story told by Bu├▒uel.
This is the first I've seen of this director, and I am determined to explore more of his work.