One of the most controversial films of all time, L'AGE D'OR is a surreal inquiry into the traditions and standards of modern culture that have kept true passion and instinct from being freely expressed.
Modot and Lys, simply called the Man and the Woman, are the lovers who allow nothing to prevent them from demonstrating their feelings for each other. They want to make love, but must first overcome a number of seemingly insurmountable obstacles: the church, bourgeois social etiquette, and their
own psychological handicaps. This love is demonstrated through surreal images that are both hilarious (a cow lying on a bed, a frustrated man kicking a socialite's obnoxious poodle into the air) and disturbing (a helpless boy being brutally shot to death), but the overall impact suggests love's
L'AGE D'OR, like many other surrealist and Dadaist works, is more than a piece of art--it is a manifesto. It is not an entertainment but a display of the iconoclasm, rage, wit and passion which Bunuel, Salvador Dali and their contemporaries wanted humanity to embrace. L'AGE D'OR is full of
incredible moments: the opening documentary on the savagery of scorpions, Lys obsessively sucking the toes of a statue, the pompous clerics on the rocks. The accompanying program for the film read, "It is LOVE that brings about the transition from pessimism to action: Love, denounced in the
bourgeois demonology as the root of all evil. For love demands the sacrifice of every other value: status, family, and honor."
During one of the film's initial showings in Paris, a minor riot broke out as people destroyed paintings by such artists as Man Ray, Max Ernst and Dali. L'AGE D'OR was subsequently banned and became the subject of heated debate in both left- and right-wing newspapers. Although Dali was involved,
this film more properly belongs to Bunuel. Many of the themes appearing in his later works are evident here for the first time, though less tempered with his later occasional gentleness.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: One of the most controversial films of all time, L'AGE D'OR is a surreal inquiry into the traditions and standards of modern culture that have kept true passion and instinct from being freely expressed. Modot and Lys, simply called the Man and the Woman,… (more)