Tuesday, February 7, 2012

SIMON OF THE DESERT (1965)


‘I also believe in God the Father Almighty.’  - Satan

For days, weeks and years an ascetic stood on a column in a desert blessing humanity. He was offered a new column by a wealthy man. With Christ like spiritual miracle his prayer returns a handicap man’s hands. Enters ‘Satan’ in a form of intriguing temptress trying to seduce him with facades and temptations luring him towards earthy pleasures. In almost bizarre climax we see a moving coffin, seductress, flying airplane and the burning candle of spirituality led into a modern night club disco!  

Ah! It’s damn difficult for modern hermit to remain occupied with conscience and moral solitude in a mad mundane and decaying world of worldly pleasures and continue his individual spiritual journey. Its one thing standing on a barren desert pillar and  another on club where young damsels go wild on ‘Radioactive flesh’!

Just forty five minutes in length, this is one of pure Bunuel gold with his trademark wicked satire. It’s revealing thing to know that the movie is incomplete one that Bunuel had to wind up and edit as the producer of the film become bankrupt after promising to sponsor the whole film and that’s the reason the sudden jump of climax seems too awkward on first view. Those who have seen Silvia Pinal as angelic ‘Viridiana’, may find her in three sixty degree reverse role of seductress ‘Satan’. The B&W camera work of the film is sheer poetry of visuals, kudos to Bunuel’s long collaborator Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa. 

1 comment:

Kumar Luv said...

What a coincidence! Just today I read : "Gran Casino (1946), was directed by a little-known Spanish refugee named Luís Buñuel, who spent the rest of his career trying to pretend he hadn’t made it"