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The Milky Way


CaveGirl
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I was tricked by my too brief glance at the TCM schedule for Tuesday, into thinking that Luis Bunuel's movie, "The Milky Way" was to be on, when it was really Harold Lloyd's earlier, "The Milky Way". Both are comedies but Bunuel's of a more obscure nature, deftly hidden behind a supposedly serious subject.
 
Now one might think a film reflecting upon major dogma of the Vatican, heterodoxy in action, a picaresque journey by two religious pilgrims in a time space continuum would be a bit of a bore, and that only those with a Papist background or were heresy academics could enjoy, but the ride through time is as enjoyable as a Hope-Bing road picture or watching "Easy Rider".

Bunuel often professed his credo, "Thank God, I'm still an atheist" and in his infinite desire to make meaningful pictures about the human condition, uses this film to question both sides of the religious coin, asking "What do beliefs really mean?" and "Can a religion be a religion without mystery?"

In this movie our pilgrims encounter characters along the way from the Marquis de Sade, to visions of Mary, to the Angel of Death, to Jesus, 20th Century revolutionaries and even the Pope as he is being executed all in an oneiristic ecstasy of style, mostly achieved through a multi-threaded narrative unlike Bunuel's usual linear presentations.

We see beliefs like transubstantiation being discussed by a maitre d'hotel with his staff, an escaped mental patient who is also a priest professing "credo quia absurdum" thoughts, robotic-like young girls at the Lamartine Institute defining "What is anathema" at an outdoor festivity open house for parents, with dueling episodes, crucifixions, and last supper mode tableaux with bloody car accidents all combined in a thought provoking melange, not in some ways unlike a film that Bunuel professed admiration for, "The Saragossa Manuscript".

The usual Bunuel obsessions are found along the way, crosses, diverse texts, dreams and the unconscious, fetishisms, keyholes, blindness and other human frailties, swords, robes and mitres, guests, quarrels and finally thanatos. These are some of the emblems by which Bunuel works his magic, and though many see them as symbols, perhaps some are just what they appear to be and nothing more in the context of the story.

It is noted at the denouement that all biblical references used are based on true passages like those from the Psalms, yet some things not in the bible, for example seeing Jesus about to shave, or running and laughing, are things Bunuel believes probably did occur and such portrayals make sense in a humanistic way. One might think that a knowledge of heresy would help to understand this masterpiece of Bunuel's, but maybe not, just as some believe that "Faith comes through the heart and not by reason". We are left with a seriocomedic look at sex, religion and rebellion with revolt often created through dream manifestations. If one thinks anarchy to authoritarian forces is best achieved by humorous disrespect, one might enjoy this film. Our pilgrims, Pierre and Jean, out to visit the remains of St. James in Santiago, finally arrive only to be disappointed when they find the authenticity of his being is in dispute, which reduces the possibility of alms from the crowd sadly. To find at the end of one's life journey that all your beliefs are possibly based on fraud and fabrication is a sad state of being and a profound letdown. One ends this film seeing it as a cautionary tale created by a master filmmaker.

One hopes TCM will find it in their heart to someday schedule before it is too late, a full day of the Luis Bunuel pantheon. Till then, just remember, "Be careful what you pray for, as you may get it" as a famous saint once said.
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It could be worse. What if you had thought it was about a Milky Way bar, and got a chocolate fix obsession?

Loved your photo though. Actually, as I recall the Bunuel [sorry to be serious!] film is called "The Milky Way" because the route taken for the pilgrimages to the remains of St. James from France to Spain and the Santiage region, was called that historically.

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1 hour ago, CaveGirl said:

"Be careful what you pray for, as you may get it"

In the lyrics of a Donna Fargo song, "Be sure you want what you're dreamin' of, 'cause sometimes dreams come true."

Did someone say chocolate? I won't toss in the video, but if you wanna look it up: 

"John Michael Montgomery - Goes good with beer"

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42 minutes ago, jimmymac21 said:

In the lyrics of a Donna Fargo song, "Be sure you want what you're dreamin' of, 'cause sometimes dreams come true."

Did someone say chocolate? I won't toss in the video, but if you wanna look it up: 

"John Michael Montgomery - Goes good with beer"

Very astute of you, Jimmy to bring in some country classics to my Bunuel thread.

Between beer and chocolate, it's a tough choice, but I can say I never enjoyed beer as much as having a lager of Guinness in Dublin. Who cares if it was room temperature; only the really annoying American tourists have the gall to ask some poor bartender in Ireland to put ice in their beer. This is where the term "Ugly American" came from ostensibly. Uh, what were we talking about again...?
 

Sorry I have not as yet seen "RV" but maybe TCM will program it? I was advised on here not to watch it, but I avoid all such admonitions of closemindedness.

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For viewers like myself who knew what we were getting into when we tune-in for Harold Lloyd's "The Milky Way" I enjoyed it.  It was my first time seeing this film.  I especially like the sight gag of Harold Lloyd throwing/slinging his hat away an alley during the parade sequence going twenty feet and catching his hat when he reached another alley opening.  I want to know how they did that gag. 

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3 minutes ago, laffite said:

The discussion of Bunuel is so frivolous and simplistic. Can't you find a subject with a little more weight?

How about Jackie Gleason?

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4 hours ago, hamradio said:

Thought this thread was about....

milky-way.jpg

FWIW here...

My house is located just about halfway out from where that shiny center thing is in that spiral.

But sorry, because I've recently become a bit paranoid about both Korean and Russian hackers, I'm not gonna give you people any more exact coordinances than that.

In fact, I'm even lately contemplating the removal of that Sedona Arizona thing up there next to my name.

;)

Okay, and now about Luis Bunuel...

I'm sorry to say CG that the only film of his I've ever watched would be Belle de Jour, and one which I did find fascinating in how he so well mixed the world of supposed reality with that of a dreamlike fantasy. 

However, your opening post about his next film, The Milky Way, has now made me eager to see that one too somewhere down the road.

(...and so thanks for this)

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50 minutes ago, laffite said:

The discussion of Bunuel is so frivolous and simplistic. Can't you find a subject with a little more weight?

Dang, I didn't think anyone would notice I copied it all from my Funk and Wagnalls Movie Edition Encyclopedia, Laffite!

I'm very shallow, so I'm pretty much addicted to the unheavy in movies. Mea culpa! If only Jayne Mansfield would have starred in a Bunuel film, I would be more of a fan.

 

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5 minutes ago, Dargo said:

FWIW here...

My house is located just about halfway out from where that shiny center thing is in that spiral.

But sorry, because I've recently become a bit paranoid about both Korean and Russian hackers, I'm not gonna give you people any more exact coordinances than that.

In fact, I'm even lately contemplating the removal of that Sedona Arizona thing up there next to my name.

;)

Okay, and now about Luis Bunuel...

I'm sorry to say CG that the only film of his I've ever watched would be Belle de Jour, and one which I did find fascinating in how he so well mixed the world of supposed reality with that of a dreamlike fantasy. 

However, your opening post about his next film, The Milky Way, has now made me eager to see that one too somewhere down the road.

(...and so thanks for this)

So, you watch TCM via satellite? I suggest going deep underground in Nevada. Just mention Area 51 and people will leave you alone.

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28 minutes ago, Dargo said:

FWIW here...

My house is located just about halfway out from where that shiny center thing is in that spiral.

But sorry, because I've recently become a bit paranoid about both Korean and Russian hackers, I'm not gonna give you people any more exact coordinances than that.

In fact, I'm even lately contemplating the removal of that Sedona Arizona thing up there next to my name.

;)

Okay, and now about Luis Bunuel...

I'm sorry to say CG that the only film of his I've ever watched would be Belle de Jour, and one which I did find fascinating in how he so well mixed the world of supposed reality with that of a dreamlike fantasy. 

However, your opening post about his next film, The Milky Way, has now made me eager to see that one too somewhere down the road.

(...and so thanks for this)

A wise move, Dargo since the motto "Trust no one" is probably a good one nowadays.

And now on to Bunuel. You of all people, being so witty and sophisticated, would probably enjoy many of his films being that they externally seem so serious, yet overlay really amusing ideas. For example, I might propose that you see "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" where a group of people gather to eat a meal, yet it never gets consumed due to constant interruptions that are humorous, but only to those with a sense of humor possibly, and you qualify. Another one you might enjoy, due to your innate appreciation for pulchritude in the female sex, is "That Obscure Object of Desire" wherein Bunuel could not find one actress who encompassed all the qualities he desired for the character, so he hired two distinctly different types to play the part. You would possibly relish the scene where one of the Conchitas torments poor old Fernando Rey by promising some intimacy but then knotting up all the ties in her corset, making him very upset as he attempts coitus. I just posted that to see if the word "coitus" gets bleeped. Thanks, Dargo!

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17 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

I wonder exactly how much The Great One weighed...

It is now your fault I spent time checking. One site called him a blow fish, ranging from 185 ~ 285. Should you get bored, look up Steve Goodman, Chicken Cordon Blues. Maybe Larry Gross and the Junk Food Junkie. Too Fat Polka. Now you've done it. I could search for Milky Way songs, but I'm not gonna.

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58 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

I just posted that to see if the word "coitus" gets bleeped.

I don't think they have time. They're too busy bleeping spam.

1 hour ago, CaveGirl said:

Dang, I didn't think anyone would notice I copied it all from my Funk and Wagnalls Movie Edition Encyclopedia, Laffite!

I'm very shallow, so I'm pretty much addicted to the unheavy in movies. Mea culpa! If only Jayne Mansfield would have starred in a Bunuel film, I would be more of a fan.

:lol:

58 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

And now on to Bunuel. You of all people, being so witty and sophisticated, would probably enjoy many of his films being that they externally seem so serious, yet overlay really amusing ideas. For example, I might propose that you see "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" where a group of people gather to eat a meal, yet it never gets consumed due to constant interruptions that are humorous, but only to those with a sense of humor possibly, and you qualify. Another one you might enjoy, due to your innate appreciation for pulchritude in the female sex, is "That Obscure Object of Desire" wherein Bunuel could not find one actress who encompassed all the qualities he desired for the character, so he hired two distinctly different types to play the part. You would possibly relish the scene where one of the Conchitas torments poor old Fernando Rey by promising some intimacy but then knotting up all the ties in her corset, making him very upset as he attempts coitus.

Discreet Charm is a perennial fave. Compulsive over eaters should not watch this film, unless of course they order tons of Chinese food to gobble down to quash appetites as well as the extreme frustration of continually watching people who almost eat.

I haven't seen Obscure Object for a long time and it seems less available than the other. I haven't exacted a probe of late so maybe it is out there. Having two actresses play the same character seems an act of genius. When the second one appears it is very jarring. Of course Fernando doesn't even notice. Does this mean that his obsession for uh, coitus (an approved word, I guess) overshadows any consideration of the "object" actually being a  human being as well., (at least to him.)? This film should not be watched by anyone in a state of arousal as it may offer the same frustration o those who overeat. Bunnel was great in depicting frustrations :ph34r: As a mysterious little subplot we get a few terrorist-executed explosions. And who are those persons who carry what appear to be burlap bags (?).

Another good one is The Phantom of Liberty, a series of seemingly unrelated episodes (all howlers) but with an underlying thematic strain questioning the reality of liberty and other unhappy considerations of same. (Disclosure, I don't mind symmetry so much but it can get boring from time to time)

These are all great films but they all have one conspicuous drawback. None of them have Jayne Mansfield in it.:lol:

 

..

 

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1 hour ago, CaveGirl said:

A wise move, Dargo since the motto "Trust no one" is probably a good one nowadays.

And now on to Bunuel. You of all people, being so witty and sophisticated, would probably enjoy many of his films being that they externally seem so serious, yet overlay really amusing ideas. For example, I might propose that you see "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" where a group of people gather to eat a meal, yet it never gets consumed due to constant interruptions that are humorous, but only to those with a sense of humor possibly, and you qualify. Another one you might enjoy, due to your innate appreciation for pulchritude in the female sex, is "That Obscure Object of Desire" wherein Bunuel could not find one actress who encompassed all the qualities he desired for the character, so he hired two distinctly different types to play the part. You would possibly relish the scene where one of the Conchitas torments poor old Fernando Rey by promising some intimacy but then knotting up all the ties in her corset, making him very upset as he attempts coitus. I just posted that to see if the word "coitus" gets bleeped. Thanks, Dargo!

Thanks for these other suggested titles here, CG. 

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18 hours ago, jimmymac21 said:

It is now your fault I spent time checking. One site called him a blow fish, ranging from 185 ~ 285. Should you get bored, look up Steve Goodman, Chicken Cordon Blues. Maybe Larry Gross and the Junk Food Junkie. Too Fat Polka. Now you've done it. I could search for Milky Way songs, but I'm not gonna.

Oh, yeah...blame me, Jimmy when it was you who brought up The Great One. I actually love watching him in "The Honeymooners" though, but am really more attracted to Ed Norton. Ralph was so cheap and my mother said never date a cheap man. Ralph had the most horrid apartment with nothing, and Norton had nice furniture, a fab tv and was good to Trixie. Also he did not eat her out of house and home. Jimmy, there is no way Jackie weighed any 185! I did read once that Gleason would rent out a wing of a local hospital occasionally and take his vacation there. Bedside service, all the tv he could watch, and lots of rest and relaxation! I wonder how many polka movies use the song "Too Fat Polka" in their storylines? Thanks!

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17 hours ago, laffite said:

I don't think they have time. They're too busy bleeping spam.

:lol:

Discreet Charm is a perennial fave. Compulsive over eaters should not watch this film, unless of course they order tons of Chinese food to gobble down to quash appetites as well as the extreme frustration of continually watching people who almost eat.

I haven't seen Obscure Object for a long time and it seems less available than the other. I haven't exacted a probe of late so maybe it is out there. Having two actresses play the same character seems an act of genius. When the second one appears it is very jarring. Of course Fernando doesn't even notice. Does this mean that his obsession for uh, coitus (an approved word, I guess) overshadows any consideration of the "object" actually being a  human being as well., (at least to him.)? This film should not be watched by anyone in a state of arousal as it may offer the same frustration o those who overeat. Bunnel was great in depicting frustrations :ph34r: As a mysterious little subplot we get a few terrorist-executed explosions. And who are those persons who carry what appear to be burlap bags (?).

Another good one is The Phantom of Liberty, a series of seemingly unrelated episodes (all howlers) but with an underlying thematic strain questioning the reality of liberty and other unhappy considerations of same. (Disclosure, I don't mind symmetry so much but it can get boring from time to time)

These are all great films but they all have one conspicuous drawback. None of them have Jayne Mansfield in it.:lol:

 

..

 

It's so much fun to have a compatriot in the Bunuel admiration cult here, Laffite. I thank the gods of movies that you exist. 

You make wonderful descriptions of the plots of his movies, so no need for me to add on any folderol. I own "the Phantom of Liberty" also, and really should rewatch it. Movies Unlimited used to have a full page of almost all his films on dvd, that I hoped to eventually own,  but I started off buying the more famous ones, like "Viridiana", and "Tristana" and the ones you discuss, but now that I'm so ready to see "Mexican Bus Ride" I notice MU is not currently carrying any titles, not even "Belle de Jour". Boo hoo, I'm so depressed and have lost the will to live unless I find another source. Watching a Bunuel film is always such an adventure, since unlike most movies, one never has any idea what might happen next, just like real life. Thanks for your most elucidating post! I'll spring for the Chinese food if we ever meet up at a Bunuel film fest.

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