Saturday, 9 April 2011

Diary Of A Chambermaid

1964 Director Luis Buñuel

This is a remake of the 1946 Jean Renoir film based on the novel by Octave Mirbeau and is now considered to be a classic piece of Luis Bunuel film making.

Celestine, a beautiful Parisian domestic who, upon arrival at her new job at an estate in provincial 1930s France, entrenches herself in sexual hypocrisy and scandal with her philandering employer.  She quickly learns that he is a harmless boot fetishist, his daughter a frigid woman more concerned with the family furnishings than in returning the affections of her husband, who, in turn, can't keep his hands off the servants. The gamekeeper, is a fascist who keeps his masters informed of all the doings downstairs, and the next door neighbor is a veteran who can't stand the owner and is sharing a bed with his housekeeper. Celestine picks her way through this minefield carefully, spurning the advances of all of the men until it's convenient for her.

Filmed in luxurious black-and-white Franscope, Diary Of A Chambermaid is a raw-edged tangle of fetishism and murder and a scathing look at the burgeoning French fascism of the era.

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