Fools And Boobs In “That Obscure Object of Desire” (1977)

Cover of "That Obscure Object of Desire -...

Cover via Amazon

In the 1977 Luis Bunuel picture, That Obscure Object of Desire, fifty-something Mathieu (Fernando Rey) is crazy about, and forever frustrated by, a much younger woman, Conchita (alternately played by two actresses, Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina).

It has been declared, and might be widely believed, that this film concerns the uselessness of logic in our lives.  I rather doubt it, for if that is the meaning, Object is a poor film for demonstrating such a thing.  Consider the scene where Mathieu sees a woman holding in a baby’s blanket not an infant but a piglet!  To my mind, what Bunuel is giving us is faulty absurdism and no-account surrealism.

The film’s action is punctuated by deadly terrorist acts, and here there could be a grave “message” about how people inescapably want sex and get death, especially in our absurd and agitated times.  It is less digestible, though, that women in That Obscure Object of Desire are flat-out weird—Conchita is, and so is her mother—even psychotically so.

Refusing to sleep with Mathieu, Conchita nevertheless strips for him, the result being that both Bouquet and Molina expose their beautiful breasts.  They do so rather excessively, but then Bunuel is a creep in this film.

(In French with English subtitles)

 

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