This is a major new study of the films of Luis Bunuel, surrealist scourge of the bourgeosie and enduring influence on European cinema. The book is unique in offering an extended analysis of Bunuel's films in the context of contemporary debates in film studies, focusing in particular on questions of subjectivity and desire. Throughout, Bunuel's films are viewed as both the brilliant, subversive expressions of the director's fantasies and obsessions and as reflections of wider cultural norms and preoccupations. Making use of psychoanalysis and gender theory, Peter Evans explores Bunuel's characteristic thematics of transgression and his status as exile of outsider. The whole range of his work is discussed, from the critically neglected "bread and butter" Mexican melodramas of the 1950s to such classics of European cinema as The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, That Obscure Object of Desire, and Belle de Jour. Accessible, lively, and compelling, The Films of Luis Bunuel provides a much-needed revaluation of one of the world's greatest film-makers.
'Evans interprets the films as if they are dreams, teasing out their hidden meanings. It's his ingenuity in doing so that keeps The Films of Luis Bunuel afloat.'
Geoffrey Macnab, Literary Review
`This is certainly a book for the theorist and you don't need to know Bunnel's films to benefit from its contents.'
`Intelligent and eclectic study of cinema's great taboo-breaker.'
Sight and Sound
`a brilliant start to the new series on Hispanic themes launched by OUP...A must for any Bunuel bibliography'
Forum for Modern Language Studies
`One of the principal virtues of Peter Evan's landmark study is its concern to provide a multiple readership in hispanism and film studies with a precise set of indicators to hispanic contexts and traditions that inform Bunuel's films. What emerges is an appreciation of Bunuel's achievement as an auteur that is considerably fuller and more nuanced than previous accounts.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`Exhaustive and compelling book. This important study is a concise, informed and challenging work which should invigorate discussion about the most iconoclastic of directors. Peter William Evans has thrown the films of Luis Bunuel to the wolves of contemporary critical debates in film studies. It is a fight which the sly, old Aragonese dog would have relished.'
Rob Stone, University of Aberystwyth, Tesserae 2 (1996)
`Evans's perceptive discussion of the films' cinematic intertextuality is criss-crossed with enlightening literary associations, from Golden-Age authors and Buñuel's French and Spanish contemporaries to gothic novelists and Latin-American writers ... useful in providing a unified interpretation of Bunñuel's work and gives many new insights into the individual films under discussion.'
Xon de Ros, King's College, London, MLR, 91.4, 1996
`Peter Evans works in generous swathes of thought, bringing what seems to be a large amount of learning and clarity to his subject.'
British Bulletin of Publications, No. 95, October 1996