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Cinema According to Víctor Erice

Friday, July 10, 2015
7:00 p.m. Nazarin
Luis Buñuel (Mexico, 1958)

Certainly one of the most beautifully photographed of all Luis Buñuel’s films, Nazarín captures the harsh Mexican landscape for a tale of a turn-of-the-century wandering cleric who has shed his priest’s garments in hopes of comforting the poor, free from the Church’s chastising shadow. He is accompanied by two desperate women and an assortment of life’s outcasts. His is a Christlike effort, to wring charity out of a peasantry locked into the absurd cruelty of their environment, but also locked into the very material reality of being human. Like Preston Sturges’s Sullivan in his Travels, Nazarín’s experience among the wretched teaches him the nature of escape. Fellow Surrealist Ado Kyrou wrote of this film, “Nazarín is a dazzling explosion in which form and substance, thought and action, are fused in the multi-tongued fires of the necessary.”

—Judy Bloch

• Written by Buñuel, Julio Alejandro, from the novel by Benito Pérez Galdós. Photographed by Gabriel Figueroa. With Francisco Rabal, Marga López, Rita Macedo, Jesús Fernández. (91 mins, In Spanish with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Filmoteca de la UNAM, permission Televisa)