Luis Buñuel's biting jab at the futility of asceticism and repentence is a surreal fable in his inimitable style. Simon, a 5th-century ascetic, stands on a pillar in the middle of the desert for three decades in a worthless quest to achieve enlightenment. Satan, in a variety of disguises, futilely tries to tempt him to descend from his post. And finally one of these embodiments -- an alluring blonde -- gets so disgusted and bored with his endless babbling that she forcibly and irreverently dumps him into a Manhattan discotheque.
Simon of the Desert is Luis Bunuel's wicked and wild take on the life of devoted ascetic Saint Simeon Stylites, who waited atop a pillar surrounded by a barren landscape for six years, six months, and six days, in order to prove his devotion to God. Yet the devil, in the figure of the beautiful Silvia Pinal, huddles below, trying to tempt him down. A skeptic's vision of human conviction, Bunuel's short and sweet satire is one of the master filmmaker's most renowned works of surrealism.
Character Study |
Shown at the Fourth New York Film Festival September 20, 1966.
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