Belle De Jour, the 1967 French drama by Spanish cinema master Luis Bunuel, is being screened at Institut Francais on October 9.
The screening marks the opening of a commemoration of the Spanish movie master.
As Bunuel worked in Spain, Mexico and France, his commemoration is being organized by the Institut Francais, Instituto Cervantes and Mexican Embassy in China in tandem. For Chinese film enthusiasts, it’s the perfect chance to dig into the life story of an extraordinary filmmaker.
Born in 1900, Bunuel’s early work is often associated with the surrealist movement of the 1920s. His work spans two continents, three languages and nearly every film genre, including experimental film, documentary, melodrama, satire, musical, erotica, comedy, romance, costume drama, fantasy, crime film, adventure and western.
Despite this variety, his work was always well recognized by insiders as distinctive or, as Ingmar Bergman put it, “Bunuel nearly always made Bunuel films.”
Belle De Jour is Luis Bunuel’s most successful and most famous surrealistic “classic” in 1967 with acting by French icon Catherine Deneuve. Based on the 1928 novel Belle de jour by Joseph Kessel, the film tells about a young woman who is compelled to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute while her husband is at work.
Belle De Jour is something very rare in the world of cinema. As Jean-Claude Carriere, the screenwriter, said, for the first time in the history of cinema Bunuel dealt in a perfectly clear and obvious way with female erotic fantasies, something no one else had attempted.
It also captured Catherine Deneuve at age 24. Through Belle de Jour, she gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof, mysterious chic bourgeoisie. The style of the movie has survived generations. Deneuve has always evoked a timeless femininity through her classic looks and clothes.
Deneuve played the lead female in 100 films during her more than 50 years as an actor.