Castle of Purity | Chicago Reader

Castle of Purity

Luis Buñuel was originally slated to direct this 1972 Mexican feature, about a man who keeps his wife and children locked away in their home for 18 years to prevent contamination by the outside world, and it might have turned out better if he had. As it is, under the hand of Buñuel protege and New Mexican Cinema leader Arturo Ripstein, it's a bit of a botch, gracelessly heavy and static (though in a way the inertial styling is exactly right for conveying a sense of stifling confinement); still, the root surrealism and sadomasochistic undercurrents of the material edge the film away from torporous monotony and grayness. With Claudio Brook (the eponymous ascetic in Buñuel's Simon of the Desert) and Rita Macedo.

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