I assume that many readers, like myself, are bemused by the run on toilet rolls in British supermarkets. Now a friend in New York writes that the same pattern has occurred there. It would seem that one film we might watch over the coming days is Luis Buñuel ‘s 1974 masterwork, The Phantom of Liberty (Le Fantôme de la liberté) . Among the many targets of his surrealist satire are the sometimes anal preoccupations of late 20th society.
Unfortunately, the BFI do not have a 35mm print and, currently, we would be unable to view it anyway. There are video versions including one by Criterion. And it has been presented on terrestrial television. YouTube does offer a trailer and a key scene [cropped].
One wonders what Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière would make of the present world with a crisis-ridden capitalist system. Alas we can only imagine.
The Phantom of Liberty / Le Fantôme de la liberté, France / Italy 1974.
Directed by Luis Buñuel, Produced by Serge Silberman, Ulrich Picard.
Written by Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière. Cinematography Edmond Richard
Edited by Hélène Plemiannikov.
Running time 104 minutes. Filmed in Eastmancolor and in 1.66:1.
Language French; English sub-titles available.