On international Museum’s night at May 20, 2017, The Art Museum RIGA BOURSE and the Embassy of Spanish Kingdom in Riga invite you to the Night of Spanish Cinema with Louis Bunuel.
Luis Buñuel Portolés (1900 - 1983) was a Spanish filmmaker who is known as one of the most influential surrealism movie directors. Buñuel was born in Calanda, a small town in the province of Teruel, in the Aragon region of Spain. He attended the University of Madrid, and during this time developed a very close relationship with painter Salvador Dalí and poet Federico García Lorca. In 1925 Buñuel moved to Paris, where he began work as an assistant of movie director. During his career he has worked in Span, Mexico and USA and directed silent and sound movies for half of the century. His work spans tan array of genres, including experimental film, documentary, musical, comedy, romance, costume dramas and fantasy. Despite this variety, a Buñuel film is so distinctive as to be instantly recognizable.
On the International Museum’s Night we invite you to three Buñuel movies: An Andalusian Dog (Un Chien Andalou, 1929), Land without Bread (Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan, 1929) and Simon of the Dessert (Simón del desierto, 1965).
An Andalusian Dog was Buñuel's first film that was created together with Spanish surrealism painter Salvador Dali. The silent film was initially released in 1929 with a limited showing at Studio des Ursulines in Paris, but became popular and ran for eight months. An Andalusian Dog has no plot in the conventional sense of the word. It uses dream logic in narrative flow that can be described in terms of then-popular Freudian free association, presenting a series of tenuously related scenes.
The Land without Bread (1933) is a documentary that focuses on the Las Hurdes region of Spain, the mountainous area around the town of La Alberca, and the intense poverty of its occupants, who were so backwards and isolated that bread was unknown. Buñuel, who made the film after reading the ethnographic study Las Jurdes: étude de géographie humaine (1927) by Maurice Legendre, took a Surrealist approach to the notion of the anthropological expedition. The film was originally silent, though Buñuel himself narrated when it was first shown. On Museum’s Night we will watch the movie with live piano performance in the background.
Simon of the Desert is a 1965 film that is loosely based on the story of the ascetic 5th-century Syrian saint Simeon Stylites, who lived for 39 years on top of a column. Despite his seclusion Simón meets a number of regular characters – a handsome priest whom he condemns on grounds of vanity, a dwarf herder, and his mother, who comes to live close to him but remains neglected of his attention. Several times he is visited by Satan himself.
On Museum’s Night we will show the movies free of charge. Silent films An Andalusian Dog and The Land without Bread will have an accompaniment by talented piano player Uģis Krišjānis thus bringing to live the tradition to watch movies with live performance of piano that was well known in beginning of 20th Century. The Simon of the Dessert will be in Spanish with Latvian Subtitles.