Phantom of Liberty is a film about the impossibility of escaping the tyranny of convention in politics, society, and art…. Buñuel's anarchistic vision has remained constant. Man persists in denying his animal nature and creating a civilized code of laws and manners that only heightens his absurdity and intensifies his oppression. This theme lies at the center of all Buñuel's work; he never escapes it, and neither do we, his audience.
As in earlier films, the central social ritual is the dinner party, for it offers a prime example of how civilized man copes with his basic animal needs…. Using a Swiftian ironic reversal, in Phantom Buñuel reminds us that eating and shitting are...
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