Friday, February 24, 2012

Luis Buñuel: La mort en ce jardin, Take Two

Let's pick up on some of the main characters in Luis Buñuel's La mort en ce jardin (1956) / Death in the Garden, introduced in yesterday's post. 

Djin (Simone Signoret), the prostitute, is closer in motivation to Chenko (Tito Junco), the roguish trader-merchant, and Castin (Charles Vanel), as well as several other foreign miner-workers: they are in survival mode. If they do have any dreams of Santa Claus and happy elves, it's because they imagine one day they'll strike it rich via mining. 

Shark (Georges Marchal), the roguish adventurer, and Father Lizardi (Michel Piccoli), the Catholic priest, are interesting foils.  Shark values freedom even more than riches, while Father Lizardi has a complex relationship with social stability and doing "what is right."

María (Michèle Girardon), Castin's deaf-mute daughter, is like a babe in the woods. She is dependent on the good will of others to survive in a typically hostile environment -- and does thereby have an impact on the actions of other key characters.

It's one thing to take care of business in a dangerous mining town coming under martial law. But Buñuel amps up questions of survival and civilization even more in the second half of La mort en ce jardin. How?  We'll pick up the thread in the next post.

Today's Post: Fertility.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Wish I had access to some of these.

YogaforCynics said...

That's a Bunuel film I've never seen. Then, it's been too long since I've seen any of them...will have to see what's available on NetFlix (though suspect the results will be depressing...).