That Obscure Object of Desire

That Obscure Object of Desire

Blu-Ray Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Robert Munro

Read Robert Munro's film review of That Obscure Object of Desire

The Object of Desire is a visual treat of a film, and thus benefits from Studio Canal's Blu-ray treatment of it. Whether it's sun-dappled Seville, Mathieu's luxurious home or simply the beautiful incarnations of Conchita, the colours are vivid and the image sharp as a pin - even if it doesn't quite sing in its rendition of close-ups the way a more contemporary Blu-ray release might.

The film is accompanied by a solid, if slightly unspectacular, extras package. All of the extras arrive in the form of interviews with those who knew Bunuel well, or worked on the film.

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First up is an interview with friend and fellow filmmaker Carlos Saura, who discusses Bunuel's life in detail. He describes a passionate and motivated individual, constantly railing against the conservative cinematic establishment. It does befall the pitfalls of many a talking-head interview, in that, while being informative, it doesn't ecessarily excite the viewer or provide much more depth to the film itself.

Next on the extras playlist is 'The Arbitrariness of Desire', an interview with Jean-Claude Carriere, who has a writing credit on the film. While, still a traditional interview, Carriere is revealing in his discussion of the way he and Bunuel worked together. He discusses toying with the audience and their expectations, even at one point reference Hitchcock and his MacGuffins. Indeed, Carriere foes further to expand upon Hitchcock's relationship with Bunuel - a filmmaker he admired and, seemingly, envied.

'Double Dames', comprises interviews with the two actresses playing Conchita - Carole Bouquet & Angela Molina. Bouquet is up first, and discusses getting the role and her nervousness about working with the great director - she was only 19 at the time. Angela Molina also talks about her role in the film, and the oddness of sharing the same character with another actress. Both of them seem to have really enjoyed working with Bunuel, and the peculiarities of portraying the elusive Conchita.

Finally from this release are the extra 'Portrait of an Impatient Filmmaker' and an accompanying booklet, written by Peter William Evans. Interviewed for the extra is Pierre Lary, the Assistant Director on the film and Edmond Richard, the Director of Photography. A picture emerges of an ageing and often frustrated director, troubled by the difficulties of making the film. He'd already started shooting the film with Maria Schneider in the Conchita role, before falling out with her and having to start all over again. The event was the inspiration for the subsequent dual casting of the part. However, as recalled by Lary, Bunuel soon found that enigmatic spark of his, even if his impatience often over-rode his usual politeness, and the picture truly began in earnest.

Reviewed on: 08 Sep 2012
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That Obscure Object of Desire packshot
A man regales passengers on a train with the story of his frustrated romance with the enchanting Conchita.
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Region: 0

Ratio: 1.66:1

Sound: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Extras: The Arbitrariness of Desire (Interview with Jean-Claude Carriere), Interview with Carlos Saura, Double Dames (Interview with Carole Bouquet & Angela Molina), A portrait of Luis Bunuel (Interview with Pierre Lay & Edmond Richard) & a booklet on the movie written by Peter William Evans.

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