Belle de jour. 1967. France/Italy. Directed by Luis Buñuel. Screenplay by Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière. With Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli. In French; English subtitles. 101 min.
In Belle de jour, Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière’s mystery box of dreams within flashbacks within fantasies, Catherine Deneuve embodies the Surrealist ideal of femininity as at once virginal and vampirical—bored housewife by night, whore by day—martyring herself to male desire, to painful guilty pleasures of the flesh, to achieve her own desire. “[S]omehow, letting the color in—and this is Buñuel’s first color film—has changed the emotional quality of his obsessions in a completely unpredictable way…. The movie ends with a dark ambiguity to what has gone on before, but every detail has been carefully thought out that seeing it again is like seeing it in another key” (Renata Adler).
4K digital restoration courtesy Janus Films