Luis Buñuel in his most cryptic mood: no clues and no clarifications. The elegant party guests in a high-rent Mexico City neighborhood adjourn to the living room after dinner and, for days following, are unable to leave the room, and are fitfully perplexed and exasperated by their peculiar inability. Buñuel hardly gives pause to the puzzle aspect of the thing, but rolls up his sleeves and digs into it, in mercilessly realistic detail, as though it were a Robinson Crusoe survival problem. He has almost never had a merrier time unearthing the private perversities, shames, and squeamishnesses of the human race. And the cumulative sense of claustrophobia, of frayed nerves, of stench and decay, and of shadowy horror is quite overwhelming. With Silvia Pinal and Claudio Brook. (1963) — Duncan Shepherd
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