Strange, disturbing, and mordantly funny, El ángel exterminador,is a masterpiece of surreal cinema from director Luis Buñuel. A group of well-heeled guests are invited to an elegant dinner party hosted by Señor Edmundo Nobile and his wife Lucia. They enjoy a wonderful meal and retire to a music room where they enjoy a piano sonata played by one of the guests. When the hour grows late and the conversations wind down, the guests, rather than gathering their belonging and heading back to their respective homes, inexplicably begin settling themselves in for the night. We learn the next morning that these people have been “trapped” inside the room, psychologically unable to open the door and escape. Abandoned by the household staff and without food or water, the group slowly descends into a tribal state, abandoning civilities and manners in pursuit of their own survival. This being a Buñuel film, there’s also death (a body unceremoniously crammed in a cupboard), witchcraft, two sheep and a bear (which Buñuel claimed he witnessed at party in New York). This is why, whenever the Populist goes to a party, we always make sure to check the locks on the doors.
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