Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Exterminating Angel: "Like rats in an overpopulation study"

Friday's film at Page Hall is Luis Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel (1962)-- part of the Food, Crime and Justice film series, cosponsored by the School of Criminal Justice. William Kennedy, novelist, screenwriter and Institute Executive Director, and Donald Faulkner, Institute Director, will provide commentary after the film.

Here's a review and reassessment by the late Roger Ebert that appeared in May 1997:

The dinner guests arrive twice. They ascend the stairs and walk through the wide doorway, and then they arrive again--the same guests, seen from a higher camera angle. This is a joke and soon we will understand the punch line: The guests, having so thoroughly arrived, are incapable of leaving.

Luis Bunuel's "The Exterminating Angel" (1962) is a macabre comedy, a mordant view of human nature that suggests we harbor savage instincts and unspeakable secrets. Take a group of prosperous dinner guests and pen them up long enough, he suggests, and they'll turn on one another like rats in an overpopulation study.


More about the event: