Belle de Jour (1967) inaugurated the last phase of Luis Bunuel's 50-year filmmaking career. At once a sharp social satire and a reflection on the interlocking of reality and fantasy, memory and dream, Belle de Jour stars Catherine Deneuve as Severine, a respectable doctor's wife who has a secret afternoon life as a prostitute. Dressed by Yves Saint-Laurent, Deneuve personifies a European class that is beautiful and enduring, in spite of its aura of decadence. But she's also a woman at war with her past and her desires, trying to clear her mind – if she can – of its ghosts.
In this study Michael Wood sets out to unravel some of the enigmas and paradoxes of one of Bunuel's most intricate films. What in Belle de Jour is meant to be taken at face value, and what is fabrication, riddle or satire? In playing the guessing game of Belle de Jour, Wood proposes an analysis of late Bunuel. Neither a serene old man nor an unreconstructed Surrealist, the Bunuel of Belle de Jour is, for Wood, a filmmaker whose insights are all the more devastating for being so lightly and stylishly delivered.
|Subtitle||BFI Film Classic|
|Publisher(s)||Palgrave Macmillan ,BFI Publishing|
|Original publication date||01/12/2000|
|Number of pages||96|