Monday, October 13, 2014

508. Tristana

Directed by Luis Bunuel

We are officially starting the 1970s.  Who is excited?  Anyone?  When we start the 80s, I can use a Ferris Bueller reference here that I am sure will kill.  Anyway, we are kicking off the 70s with a really great film.

Catherine Deneuve plays Tristana, a young orphan who is taken care of by Don Lope Garrido.  He is deeply in love with her, while she desires to feel real passion and be independent.  When she ends up falling for a new guy, it seems like she should finally be able to achieve happiness.  Unfortunately, it is a Spanish film so nothing can work out that well.

We all know that anything done by Catherine Deneuve is going to be absolutely brilliant.  However, a great performance doesn't always mean a great movie; just look at abominations like Mamma Mia or Nine.  In this case, though, we got a great plot and not once did Daniel Day-Lewis sing! I call it a win.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The character of Don Lope is partially based on Bunuel's father.


  1. The pause has been trying to think what to say about this one..
    I can certainly remember watching this, and pretty much what happened.. I'm seriously struggling to recall any emotions it awoke about it as a film..
    Except.. I guess Don Lope must have been done well, because I don't at all remember being repused by him. I mean .. come on.. we are on well dodgy ground here.. Elderly man, in a position of trust and authority of young girl ends up taking her as his lover.. You could so easily call this grooming leading to abuse.. And yet, it doesn't come over as that. Perhaps because this is a film crafted by an aging male? Maybe.. Who made Tristana the rather hard bitten person she became? Don Lope for this .. or the lover who dropped her? It would be very easy to say that because of the directors wish to 'whitewash' Don Lope's actions.. and yet I'm reluctant to believe that
    (And I'm usually, if anything, a bit too quick to see such things.. I LOATHED Gigi because I saw that as well dodgy)
    As I say, perhaps you saw / remember these things explained better.. but I think there was something missing that made it not stick all that well in the memory banks.

  2. I definitely got the creepy vibe from Gigi. I also got it from this movie but your comment really made me think about where her coldness comes from. Obviously, she was searching for independence from Lope, but is there necessarily anything...seedy in that? Good comment!

  3. Than you.. what a nice reply.
    I had to take a quick look.. We have already chatted about Gigi.
    I watched a much earlier Maurice Chevalier film musical (Love parade, Circa 1930).. and some others (One hour with you, Smiling lieutenant) . Even when he was young he was creepy in his interaction with women. When he was old, as in Gigi and still lusting after "Leeeetle Gurrrrls" it was out and out .. scary weird.

  4. You obviously liked Tristana. Do you mind explaining the plot to me?
    Halfway through or so I lost touch with the plot and I simply do not understand it. Tristana is upset with Don Lope, then why is she going back to him. The painter clearly loves her, then why is she kicking him out to stay with Don Lope? Is the second half just one, long revenge on Don Lope, with herself as the sacrifice? It makes no sense to me.