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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Again: No, NOT just for arty types....
L'Age D'or is one of the supreme surrealist films, but it's actually surprisingly accessible for Bunuel. In fact, one of his most accessible. That's not to say that you don't have to work a little, but far, far less that you would for, say, Brakhage or even some Fellini.

The film actually works on several levels, many of which offer Bunuel's often biting...
Published on December 17, 2004 by nom-de-nick

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buñuel, with characteristic perversity, intensified his attack on bourgeois sensibilities...
Buñuel was one of the greatest of all filmmakers... He expressed a uniquely personal vision of the world through a remarkably self-effacing cinematic style, producing a body of work unparalleled in its wealth of meaning and its ability to provoke and disturb...

The film concerns a couple constantly frustrated by Church and Establishment niceties, as well...
Published on December 16, 2006 by Roberto Frangie


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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Again: No, NOT just for arty types...., December 17, 2004
This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
L'Age D'or is one of the supreme surrealist films, but it's actually surprisingly accessible for Bunuel. In fact, one of his most accessible. That's not to say that you don't have to work a little, but far, far less that you would for, say, Brakhage or even some Fellini.

The film actually works on several levels, many of which offer Bunuel's often biting commentary on various aspects of life, including the blind acceptance of organized religion (for which the film was banned by the Catholic church for decades, and Bunuel was excommunicated), love and sex, human tolerance, class distinction (short but brilliant), and more. To be honest, to describe the various areas of the film is to pretty much ruin it for anyone who's never seen it. It's really best going in totally unexpectant. Again, though, remember that it's not going to unfold in a logical pattern, and will likely require a few watchings to catch it all. It's just that kind of film. In addition, the things that were absolutely appalling then may not be so much so today, or at least not to the same degree.

Still, it's a genuine work of genius, done for far, far, far many more reasons than just to stir things up. (And hopefully Amazon won't pull my review again because I dared to offer a contradicting opinion to someone else)

Absolutely a must-see for serious film-lovers, and probably a must-own, too. It's a serious work of art and nothing about it -- nothing -- is random. Oh... to clarify one thing: Yes, the film opens with a French documentary on scorpions. But as the narrator notes, the scorpion's tail has five segments, the last one containing the sting. L'Age D'or also has five segments; and the last one most definitely contains the sting.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where's Criterion When You Need Them?, January 27, 2005
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This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
Bunuel's first feature "L'Age d'Or" provoked such a fierce reaction among the Right that it was almost immediately banned by the French authorities after its release and not shown for another 50 years (it was finally allowed to play in Paris again in 1980). Suffice it to say, when you see it, you'll understand why: especially the final sequence.

While it is wonderful to have this landmark film finally available on DVD (as well as "Un Chien Andalou" in a separate release), I'm rather saddened by the lack of restorative effort here. The film has the visual and aural quality of the old 16mm prints I saw 15 years ago and there's virtually no extras worth mentioning. By all means get this release if only because it may not come out in any other format here in the US (and some of us can't afford a code-free DVD to buy the BFI version) but it would be nice if the rights holders would lease these films to Criterion to create a: "Bunuel: The Early Years" disc.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buñuel & Dali Persecuted for Surreal Subconscious Trip..., June 23, 2005
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This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
In the second film that Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí collaborated on, they accomplished the infamous L'Age D'or, and this after they stirred the world of art and politics with their Un Chien Andalou a year before. This second film was about to exercise a full out assault on the established guidelines of society through irrational thoughts leading the audience to question their own ideas of society. However, in order to provide more detail to this notion one should know that surrealism grew out of Dadaism, which was a consequence of war. In the beginning of the 20th century, Tristan Tzara, the father of Dada, expressed himself that a world that can create war machines not worthy of art. Thus, he decided to generate an anti-art of ugliness against the up and coming industrial bourgeoisie, but instead of offending the new upper-class they embraced his new art. They felt that the Dadaism was attacking old traditions of feudalism and Christian dominance.

Surrealism is an expansion of Dadaism that grew out from the notions of the French doctor Andre Breton, who had fought at the trenches of World War I. Breton had studied the works of both Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Through his studies a heavy interest grew with the notion of the unconscious and its functions. Later, Dali developed his own unique technique to capture his unconsciousness onto the permanent medium of the canvas. Buñuel who also was interested in the subconscious did not have the talent of writing, painting, or music, which left him with the new coming art form of cinema. And he truly became one of the masters of cinema, whose films can still provide much pondering and pleasure.

Upon the release of the film the Board of Censors would not have released this film with a screening permit, if it was not for the ingenuity of the artists to call it madman's dream. The film received both appraisal and hatred, as some considered it pornographic and despicable while others found it to be a refreshing touch of reality in the 1930s. It was the bizarre content of the film that raised so much debate, even violence. The pinnacle of controversy came when the League of Patriots, a fascist organization, began to throw purple ink on the screen in the middle of the screening. These fascist thugs continued to vandalize the theater and cut apart artistic pieces by Dali, Man Ray, Joan Miró, and Yves Tanguy. Through several legal issues that came about from L'Age D'or, it was unfortunate that they removed the film from public screenings, and it was not until 1979 that the film received its first legal screening in the United States. Despite the outcome of withdrawing the film, Buñuel and Dalí created a surviving cinematic epitome of cerebral rebellion on societal prejudice bestowed to those who rule.

The film itself offers a peculiarly intriguing journey of the growth of a city, Rome, but in the light of surrealism. The narrative does not follow conventional methods, as it displays notions and concepts through a number of bizarre artistic scenes. The opening of the film displays scorpions while the audience is thoroughly enlightened of its anatomy and how territorial these arachnoids are against same and other spices. Maybe this is a subconscious hint of mankind's way of bordering themselves within countries, companies, and groups. Nonetheless, the scorpion sequence unexpectedly jumps to a scene with some bandits and papal characters, which eventually leads a strange scene with immigrants that claims the ground for the birth of Rome and the Vatican. Within the conquest like society Buñuel creates a society governed by rules of moral conduct and other appointed positions. This society receives an intricate dissection through a love affair between a man (Gaston Modot) and a young woman (Lya Lys) that ventures through scenes with a cow in the bed and toe sucking.

L'Age D'or does not provide any reason with its surreal imagery, yet there is something very familiar in each scene. This familiarity generates a link between the thoughts that the audience experiences. However, the imagery remains disconnected and dreamlike. One cannot help to think that Buñuel found a key to unlock the subconscious within the audience, as he playful juggles images of Christ and Marquis de Sade. There is nothing in the story that connects each scene, but the audience will make the deduction themselves and find a mutual connection from which they will derive the controversial material. This is a step away from Buñuel and Dali's previous film Un Chien Andalou where nothing was supposed to reveal anything in regards to rational thought. In the light of their second film, one should take a couple of steps back and reflect upon the power of the brain and cinema whilst one could feed the brain with thoughtless imagery of cinematic vacuity.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buñuel, with characteristic perversity, intensified his attack on bourgeois sensibilities..., December 16, 2006
This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
Buñuel was one of the greatest of all filmmakers... He expressed a uniquely personal vision of the world through a remarkably self-effacing cinematic style, producing a body of work unparalleled in its wealth of meaning and its ability to provoke and disturb...

The film concerns a couple constantly frustrated by Church and Establishment niceties, as well as their own sexual guilt...

Such plot is structured according to the irrational dream-logic of fear and desire, starting with a 'documentary' on scorpions and working through a series of darkly comic, loosely connected scenes... The film climaxes in outrageous blasphemy, equating the meek figure of Christ with a participant in a murderous orgy in De Sade's 120 Days of Sodom... Unsurprisingly, the work was widely banned...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, January 10, 2006
This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
Although L'Age D'Or is around three times as long as Bunuel and Dali's earlier film, Un Chien Andalou, I find this almost three times as entertaining as well. That's not to say Un Chien Andalou is boring either, L'Age D'Or is simply a brilliant work of cinematic surrealism. It wasn't nearly as provocative as I expected, except for a few scenes, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. A must-see for those interested in surrealism and classic or cult cinema.

As for the actual dvd...I paid $25 for it, and although it was worth it, I feel Kino could have provided better packaging at the very least. Worth it either way, though.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Archtypal Surrealism, November 14, 2004
By 
Heavy Theta (Lorton, Va United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
There is a history of important art creating strong outrage when debuting in Paris. Coletrane and Dolphy earned derision, and Stravinsky's Rites of Spring generated general unrest. The screening of L'Age D'Or engendered direct assaults on the theatre and even rioting on the street.

Bunuel was a self-cenfessed atheist (though much of his body of work examined the spiritual) and there are many images in this film that mock church heiarchy. However, these blows seem more a humorous critique of the authority of beauracracy, that match well a total effort to turn the constraints of societal norms on its ear.

It's doubtful that some 70 years after the fact that viewing this movies will induce riotous outrage. But the dreamy, surprizing images continue to amuse and stimulate an out-of-the-box viewpoint. Not as jarring as the Andelusian Dog, it is perhaps the stronger of the two and absolutely requisite viewing for Bunuel afficianados.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars L'age D'or, June 20, 2007
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This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
The mesmerizing "L'Age D'Or," a collaboration between young Spanish surrealists Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, contains no traditional plot but instead a series of striking dream-like images: a cow on a woman's bed, a large, formal delegation arriving on a barren island for no apparent reason, a vision of fully bedecked cardinals arrayed there on a craggy rock, and amidst all the pomp, a couple rolling around lustfully in the dirt. Billed as a "madman's dream," the film became a scandal, reviled in particular by the emerging Fascist movement. Today, it's revered as a cinematic landmark, skewering what Buñuel saw as oppressive, outmoded societal forces. Pure gold!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor Has No Clothes, May 2, 2014
By 
J. Sauter (San Antonio, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: L'Age D'Or (Amazon Instant Video)
Is this where Fellini received his inspiration? I want to give it credit for having been made when cinematic technology was in its infancy, but it's hard to get past the bad acting and absurdist story line. The underlying message about the ultra-wealthy's self-absorption and their special treatment under the law and social mores had potential, but I didn't find it compelling execution. The absurdism, or surrealism, obscured the message instead of illuminated it. Art for art's sake.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "In Christian tradition, the Golden Age is identified with Eden." (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia),, October 16, 2006
By 
Galina (Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
I saw "L'Âge d'or" ("Age of Gold") last week (twice, the second time with the commentary) and I am absolutely fascinated by it. As much as "Un chien andalou", Bunuel's first movie (1929) was equally Dali's and his, "L'Âge d'or" which is a sequel to "Un chien andalou" is all Bunuel's even with Dali credited for writing. All Bunuel's favorite themes and subjects have been stored in this relatively short (62 minutes) but still shocking and amazingly sensational film. And as all Bunuel's movies it is a great fun to watch. I think the closest to "L'Âge d'or" is his later masterpiece, "Le Fantôme de la liberté" (1974), another excellent collection of satirical vignettes, dark and comical.

The irony starts in the title of the movie - In the ancient mythology, the Golden Age emphasized the idea of original peacefulness, innocence and harmony in all of nature, including human society. In Christian tradition, the Golden Age is identified with Eden but in the Bunuel's paradise, there is no harmony or happiness and innocent are frustrated and rebellious by all kinds of obstacles, social and religious that prevent them from fulfilling their desire for each other ((favorite Bunuel's subject that he would explore over and over in his following films). There are many disturbing and shockingly violent images in the paradise created by Bunuel's fantasy; one is Lya Lys's face when she is sucking on the marble toe of the Greek goddess's statue desperately waiting for her beloved with whom she is never able to be together. It is agony and ecstasy which have not been matched on the screen since. The frustration and anger that always go together with Bunuel's unique humor culminate in the final attack on the organized religion of such vicious and darkly comical power, that the toothless and harmless "Da Vinci Code" could only dream about. The last episode contains the long quote from the infamous "120 Days of Sodom" by Marquise de Sade and the scandal as well as the dark humor is in the way some characters are presented in the scene. No surprise that the movie was banned for over fifty years. Made over 70 years ago, "L'Âge d'or" is still deliciously fresh, completely realized, outstanding work of one of the best and mysterious Masters of the Art of Cinema.

4.5/5
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must see, July 4, 2005
This review is from: L'age D'or (DVD)
The diffinative surrealist masterpiece OF ALL TIME. Banned for 50 years/Andre Brenton said :"L'AGE D'OR" says it all and all others must follow!!! If you love surrealism you must see this film!!

If you don't get it, see it till you do.
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L'Age d'Or [DVD + Blu-ray]
L'Age d'Or [DVD + Blu-ray] by Salvador Dalí (Blu-ray - 1982)
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