Wuthering Heights | Chicago Reader

Wuthering Heights

The Emily Bronte novel was a favorite among the surrealists for its treatment of obsessive love, and Luis Buñuel originally planned to film it in the 30s (from a screenplay by poet Pierre Unik). Those plans fell through, but Buñuel returned to the project in 1953, during his sojourn in the Mexican commercial cinema. It's one of the most Buñuelian of the Buñuels of that period, breaking straight from studio conventions to mad flights of cruel, bizarre imagery (one character tosses a toad into a roaring fire). Unlike William Wyler in his famous Hollywood version of the novel, Buñuel makes it clear that Bronte's real subject is death: Wagner's Tristan und Isolde is the musical theme, and the climax mounts to a terrifying and ravishing morbid hysteria. With Irasema Dilian and Jorge Mistral.

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