Friday, July 13, 2012

Luis Buñuel: Los Olvidados [The Forgotten Ones]

It took a while, but I finally scared up a copy of Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados / The Young and the Damned (1950), another Buñuel masterwork. This one delivers unsentimental social realism that's enlivened by episodic surrealism. It makes movies like László Benedek's The Wild One (1953) and Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause (1955) look half-baked and muddled by comparison -- not to say those aren't worth watching, too, partly on account of iconic performances by Marlon Brando, James Dean and Lee Marvin. However, in the chronologically earlier Los Olvidados, Buñuel goes the whole hog, total immersion, with delinquents and petty criminals operating at the edges of the larger society. The context of this story makes perfect sense, grim as it is. Buñuel takes a sharp look at poverty, illiteracy and social values. This is the way it is, he seems to be saying, and here are some inklings as to why.     


One of the more pitiful tangles in Los Ovidados is between a boy and his mother, largely over food and protection, or lack thereof.

Much more to write about this one -- at some point.

Today's Rune: Wholeness.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Well, I think I would probably like this one. I've never seen it.