Saturday, May 7, 2011

La ilusión viaja en tranvía (Illusion Travels by Streetcar)

(1954, Mex, 90min, b/w)
d Luis Buñuel p Armando Orive Alba sc José Revuelta, Mauricio de la Serna, Luis Alcoriza, Juan de la Cabada ph Raúl Martinez Solares ed Jorge Bustos pd Edward Fitzgerald m Luis Hernández Bréton cast Carlos Navarro, Fernando Soto, Lilia Prado, Agustín Isunza, Guillermo Bravo Sosa, José Pidal, Javier de la Parra

Buñuel’s fond picaresque has handsome “Curly” and portly Tarrajas requisition their beloved tram for one last ride before she’s consigned to the scrap heap. They are inundated with passengers whom they refuse to charge – one illusion is free socialized public transport. On their circuitous route back to the yard, Buñuel’s mockery encompasses oppression via capital and religion, and a drunken duke whose topper is unseated by a swaying pig snout. It's a deliberately inconsequential, gentle comedy, however, firmly on the side of the old-fashioned and of the working class, those whose obscure stories make up the fabric of a city. Designed to give them a moment onscreen more than to rail against their plight, it’s a mischievous, drunken wheeze cooked up during a delightfully ramshackle staging of Genesis, complete with beer-swilling Lucifer and sexy Eve.

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