L’age d’Or (1930) Director: Luis Buñuel
One of the first sound films made in France, L’age d’Or or “the age of gold” is a surprisingly compelling surrealist film with a screenplay written by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali, not unlike their earlier film, Un Chien Andalou. It is a strangely Freudian film that is linked only by a series of vignettes, connected by their similar sexual themes of a woman and a man (never named) trying to consummate their relationship but always prevented from doing so by the repressive mores of various establishment institutions, such as the church, aristocratic clubs, and general bourgeois values.
The Age of Gold runs at about 1 hour in length, and by the time the film was ready for production Salvador Dali had already fallen out of the project. Conservative activists and press demonstrated heavily against the film and even went as far as to throw ink at the screen and destroy works of art by Dali in protest. The film is amusing in its confusing and scattered surrealist style, yet somehow it manages to be worthwhile for lovers of classic films. Though I am generally not a fan of the absurd or surrealist movements broadly speaking, I will admit this film is surprisingly charming.