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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sarah Leahy
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This chapter takes the explicit theme of exile in La Mort en ce jardin as a starting point for considering how Buñuel – a director in exile – makes use of major stars of French cinema who, in most cases, are seen here out of their more usual environments: costume dramas in the case of Marchal, black and white dramas with largely European, urban settings in the case of Signoret; theatre in the case of Piccoli at this stage in his career. It considers whether a shared experience of exile – albeit in very different forms – was what attracted Buñuel to the challenge of making an ostensibly French film featuring a group of French stars in the Mexican jungle. It argues that La Mort en ce jardin offers us an understanding of how exile lies at the heart of Buñuel’s work, even if it is not its explicit subject, notably in the recurrence of themes of wandering, troubled identity and the impossibility of desire. Through its use of stars with strong national personas, this film which both is and is not French can be seen as mirroring Buñuel’s own dialogic position as simultaneously one of the best known international auteurs of film history, and as embodying Spanish and Mexican national cinemas.
Author(s): Leahy S
Editor(s): Stone R; Gutierrez-Albilla JD
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: A Companion to Luis Buñuel. Rob Stone and Julian Daniel Gutierrez-Albilla
Online publication date: 15/04/2013
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
Place Published: Malden MA and Oxford
Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item