I’ve just watched Luis Bunuel’s The Exterminating Angel.
1/ The film is about a group of upper-class people who have dinner together at a man’s house, but after dinner, for some inexplicable reasons they can’t leave the room. That is the premise: there is no wall, no door, no physical barrier, they just can’t leave the room—a surreal film based on absurdist logic.
2/ I don’t know what it means.
3/ Bunuel said “There are around twenty repetitions in the film, but some are more noticeable than others.”
In my 1st viewing, I only noticed 8 repetitions:
The group arrive twice.
The 2 female employees try to leave twice.
The host gives the same toast twice.
The line about someone going bald is repeated.
The last part of the evening is replicated.
There are about 2 scenes of outsiders being unable (or unwilling) to enter the house.
The absurd thing at the house is repeated at the church.
The scene of the sheep going towards the “imprisoned” people in the room is replicated at the end with the church.
4/ What’s up with the sheep, and the bear?
5/ These affluent people, trapped in a room and stripped of everything, live like gypsies and act like barbarians. As the thin veneer of civilisation disintegrates, these people turn to fighting, theft, suicide, superstition/ black magic, and demanding the sacrificial death of the host.
6/ Their worst sides are revealed.
7/ The film could be an allegory for the bourgeoisie being so privileged, oblivious and self-centred that they’re shut off from the outside world.
8/ It could be about the disintegration of civilisation, and about human nature, like Lord of the Flies.
9/ Or is it a joke? These people arrive twice, so they have to leave twice?
10/ A flock of sheep running into the church is a nice jab at religion.
I don’t know. This is the kind of film that demands multiple viewings.