Le fantôme de la liberté (The Phantom of Liberty). 1974. France/Italy. Directed by Luis Buñuel. Screenplay by Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière. With Monica Vitti, Adriana Asti, Julien Bertheau, Jean Rochefort, Michel Piccoli. In French; English subtitles. 104 min.
Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière’s absurdist parables, paradoxes, and comic inversions come fast and furious in The Phantom of Liberty: the tableau vivant of Goya’s revolutionary painting The Third of May 1808, which proclaimed a modern age of resistance and terror; the little girl who hides in plain sight; the society dinner table as public toilet; the pornographic postcards of famous European monuments. In this runic and anarchical fever dream, unlike any since Buñuel’s own surrealist 1930 masterpiece L’Age d’or, the film’s all-star cast of Monica Vitti, Michel Piccoli, Jean-Claude Brialy, and company find themselves prisoners of their own making.
35mm print from The Museum of Modern Art; courtesy Rialto Pictures