Friday, February 17, 2012

Luis Buñuel's Susana: Carne y demonio

Luis Buñuel's films seem always to be interested in how people organize and conduct their lives, and what better way to shine a light on the status quo than seeing it come under attack and subversion? In Susana: Carne y demonio (1950/51) / The Devil and the Flesh (1953), Las Palmas Hacienda hums along with everyone in their "proper place" . . . until Susana arrives.

With elements of a horror film, comic touches and social analysis, Susana makes a good companion film to Mervyn LeRoy's The Bad Seed (1954). What makes people act badly? What holds people together?  In The Bad Seed, Rhoda, the main character (of grade school age), operates from within her family system; in Susana, an outsider, Susana, escapes from the State Reformatory (she is twenty years old) and is taken in by an unsuspecting family. In both cases, quite a shock to the system!

Today's Rune: Signals.

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