Warped Celluloid: Luis Buñuel's Surrealist Films Will Screen in Fort Worth

Luis Buñuel, tempestuous genius, gets his due in Fort Worth.
Luis Buñuel, tempestuous genius, gets his due in Fort Worth.

If Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel hadn't choked Salvador Dalí's ladyfriend at that dinner party, film history would have played out differently. But hey, these things happen.

The throttling was, quite literally, the sign of tension coming to a head between the two artists. The violence caused Dalí to walk away from L'Âge d'Or, which gets a public viewing in Fort Worth this month, thanks to the Lone Star Film Society's new series, ArtHouse FW.

A follow-up to Dalí/Buñuel's initial short collaborative work Un Chien Andalou, Buñuel completed L'Âge d'Or on his own, and it showed. His lengthy, finished spool spurred protests and riots, due to closing scenes that linked Jesus Christ with the writings of the Marquis de Sade. The film was boxed and hidden from public view until 1979 -- response to a damning threat from the Roman Catholic Church.

All of this was inevitable: The two surrealism figureheads met in college and shared a complicated relationship. Jealousy, adoration, respect, criticism and conflicting philosophies regarding their work's role and message -- especially surrounding its palatability to the wealthy social class -- generated a lot of creative friction. Someone was bound to get throttled.

Upcoming Events

ArthouseFW is a new multi-component offshoot of the Lone Star Film Society, featuring all kinds of great cinematic finds -- like this new Auteur Series, which kicks off fittingly with four films by Buñuel.

Beginning with film history's classic riot starter, L'Âge d'Or, you'll get a nice pairing of art via celluloid at 2 p.m. February 22 at the Modern. They'll move through Buñuel's visually luscious history with Belle de Jour (1967) on March 22; the Oscar-winning satire The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) on April 26; and shut it down with That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) on May 27. Just to make it cooler, each of them will be shown in 35-mm. (Suck it, digital.)

Keep your surrealist eyeballs peeled on the ArthouseFW calendar. That crew also offers a new samurai series, a silent film collection (check out this Sunday's screening of Sunrise with a live musical score) and a run of totally bitchin' John Carpenter/Kurt Russell pairings. Films cost $7 for normies and are gettable via PreKindle.


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