I don't want to talk too much about the style of the film, as other comments do this fairly well. However to briefly surmise them: there is no non-diegetic music, it is in colour but grainy (looks good, don't let this put you off), contains surrealist imagery as do all of Bunuel's films, and the lighting and the cinematography are sublime. I can rave about the brilliance of the technical aspects of the film, but to some it is the story content and themes that are the main focus, so I will talk about this. The film sees a young orphan taken in by one of her mother's past lovers. Played by Fernando Rey, very well I might add - though this is an understatement. Catherine Deneuve plays the title character to perfection. The orphan becomes both the 'daughter' and lover of Don Lope, Rey's character, and it is the change in power from Don Lope to Tristana that is one of the central themes of the film. In order for Tristana to get freedom she must pay the price of losing her innocence. Bunuel uses many scenes to show this, such as the balcony scene where Tristana reveals her naked self to her watchful deaf mute servant and childhood friend Saturno. Bunuel also edits this shot with an extended shot of the virgin Mary, and the comparisons are obvious. The film is very enjoyable, yet still deals with issues such as sexual freedom, power, anti-clericism and anti-bourgeois values amongst others. The film is not Bunuel's most surreal work, however it still contains the themes and images typical of him. The acting is brilliant, no more so than the leads of Deneuve and Rey. Tristana could be seen as the sister of Severine in Belle De Jour, also played by Deneuve. Certainly worthy of being in the top ten films of all time. Brilliant!
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Shortly after her mother's death, an innocent and youthful woman will find refuge into the household of her middle-aged aristocratic guardian, who will submit her to his sexual advances.
December 12, 2020