Certainly one of the most unlikely films to get the 4K treatment, Luis Buñuel’s 1972 surrealist tale of a group of rich friends attempting to dine together – despite increasingly unusual interruptions – is not exactly the sort of film that cries out for this premium format. The film is often totally illogical as it plays tricks on its characters and indeed the audience through its relentlessly inventive dream sequences and unquestioned moments of absolute absurdity. Those who know, know. This is a film that may be like marmite, but those who can get on its wavelength will have an incredible time with it.
Celebrated American filmmaker John Huston remarked that, regardless of genre, a Buñuel film is so distinctive as to be instantly recognizable – and that is definitely true of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. This is an incredibly singular vision that cinema has not seen the likes of since, and it is remarkable that the film is available on this format. It just goes to show that physical media is far from dead. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie may be an acquired taste, and those who are new to the film might want to consider a rental before purchasing the film in sparkling 4K UHD. But it looks and sounds divine on the format, considering its age – although it is worth noting that there’s so much going on here that the uninitiated or cinematic layman might find the film difficult to enjoy. With a film that surely has such a small – albeit passionate – audience, it is a marvel that the film has found its way to the format while more celebrated and iconic films are still only available on Blu-ray. Still, fans of the film will certainly be delighted with what is indeed a stellar transfer.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie remains a unique slice of surrealist cinema, and it looks absolutely beautiful in 4K UHD.
THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE is released as part of the Vintage World Cinema collection which showcases iconic world cinema, all fully restored and featuring brand new extra content. The collection includes Fellini’s LA STRADA, Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS, Luis Buñuel’s BELLE DE JOUR, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’ECLISSE, Ousmane Sembene’s MANDABI and many more.