date festival


Double Take

© 2022 Carlotta Films
Cet obscur objet du désir

Luis Buñuel
1977 - France / Spain - 1h43

Screenings : wednesday 24 - 10:30 am - Pathé - 1
Mathieu Faber is a middle-aged man living in a beautiful house in Seville. One day, he tells his maid he is leaving for Paris. At the station, the other passengers in his wagon see a very strange scene: Faber throws a bucket of water on the beautiful young woman standing on the platform. They are intrigued, but don't know how to react. Mathieu Faber decides to tell them his story and the particular relationship he has had for many years with a woman called Conchita …
Cet obscur objet du désir (That Obscure Object of Desire) is Luis Buñuel's 32 nd and final film. In the 1950s Buñuel had already written an adaptation of Pierre Louÿs 1898 book La Femme et le Pantin (The Woman and the Puppet), but the project was abandoned. Buñuel wanted to start again from scratch with a new screenplay written with Jean-Claude Carrière. Just like in Tristana,the love story described is that of an older man –already played by one of Buñuel's favourite actors Fernando Rey – and a much younger woman. For this role Buñuel had the brilliant idea of using two very different actresses. They each interpret a different side of the character of Conchita: the cold, elegant and cerebral woman inhabited by Carole Bouquet, and the sensual, extraverted woman embodied by Ángela Molina. Hero Mathieu is totally under their spell. Conchita and him are an infernal couple, caught up in a seemingly unstoppable spiral of passion and frustration. To tell this story, Buñuel refused to take the easy option and decided on telling the story through a flashback, punctuated with inexplicable elements – such as the terrorist attacks which seem to strike at random – echoing Buñuel's obsessions with surrealism. The story created by Mathieu in this cinematographic recursion and the world he describes are manipulated by Conchita: the hero is definitively this woman's “puppet”. Mathieu gradually disappears from this “real” world, particularly physically – he goes grey, his skin becomes pale. Everything around him breaks down, whether it is from the effect of the bombs or simply through a vase which falls. But this gradual decomposition is finally counterbalanced by the film's final scene: through the action of a woman darning fabric, Buñuel himself is trying, in a final cinematographic act, to repair a shattered world which he finds increasingly difficult to understand.

Cast : Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Ángela Molina, Julien Bertheau, André Weber, Milena Vukotic
Screenplay : Luis Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière
Cinematography : Edmond Richard
Editing : Hélène Plemiannikov

Production : Greenwich Film Productions, Les Films Galaxie, In-Cine Compañía Industrial Cinematográfica

French distributor : Carlotta