The Phantom of Liberty | Chicago Reader

The Phantom of Liberty

Following on the heels of his 1972 masterpiece The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Luis Buñuel's penultimate feature, made two years later, struck many critics at the time as a disappointing tapering off for the old master. But time has treated this puzzling provocation well, and today Buñuel's episodic procession of mini plots may seem even more daring—less immediately accessible to be sure, yet perhaps closer in its radicalism to L'age d'or than any other of Buñuel's late works. The challenging lack of a narrative center doesn't prevent this film from having a great deal to say about the modern world and its ambivalent grasp of freedom. With an all-star cast featuring, among many others, Monica Vitti, Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi, and Michel Piccoli. In French with subtitles. 104 min.

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