'My last breath', by Buñuel: a baturro in the surrealist court

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Series: Authors of a single book

Wednesday,
14
August
2019

02:03

The filmmaker's memories offer a warm and cheerful reading like an afternoon of gin and Martini in the company of friends.

On the left, the original cover of 'My Last Sigh'. Next, Buñuel in the Student Residence.

He had to be Luis Buñuel (1900-1983) a good guy, one of those with whom you would take a dry-martini to expect anecdotes with the whole day ahead. But not just any dry-martini, but a cocktail he invented, the Buñueloni, "a simple plagiarism of the famous Negroni, but instead of mixing Campari with gin and sweet Cinzano, I put Carpano," he says in My last breath (Plaza & Janés, 1982). The ice had to be very hard, at least 20 degrees, so that it did not release water and with the same zeal, the filmmaker put drinks, gin and cocktail shakers in the fridge on the eve of the arrival of the guests. I began the ritual throwing on the ice "a few drops of Noille-Prat and half a teaspoon of coffee, of narrowness, I shake it well and throw the liquid, keeping only … ".

And already put, would tell that when he lived five months in the United States, in 1930, during the time of the Dry Law, he never drank so much; then whiskey was prescribed in the pharmacies, the wine was poured into the coffee cups, he knew places of the peephole and password and a trafficker who was missing three fingers of a hand taught him to distinguish true gin from counterfeit (" it was enough to shake the bottle in a special way: true gin made bubbles ").

And already put would continue to say that gin is "a good stimulant for the imagination", that it is impossible for him to drink without smoking, which started at 16 with cigarettes, which as antidote to anguish in air travel He followed the advice of a French magazine, taking gin, and perfected it by pouring the liquid into a boot that covered with newspaper. And that he had two snacks a day, at noon and at six in the afternoon (he had dinner at seven) and that he soon went to bed.

Buñuel, if he liked you, could tell you about the adventures with Lorca by the Student Residence. "We were always together. He read divinely. He was brilliant, friendly. He made me discover poetry." And he would tell the night of 1924 when they went to the verbena of San Antonio and took a photo on a cardboard motorcycle and three in the morning, drunk bothFederico wrote him a poem he kept all his life.

Luis Buñuel would put bad face If asked about Picasso. They met at the end of the 20s in Paris and hardly dedicated a page of the book. "He was already famous and discussed. Despite his flatness and his joviality, I found it cold and self-centered"And he tells an anecdote in which he does not come out well, to finish off:" The Guernica I don't like anything, even though I helped hang it up. I dislike everything, both the grandiloquent bill of the work and the politicization at all costs of the painting. I share this aversion with Alberti and José Bergamín, which I discovered recently. The three of us would like to fly the Guernica, but we are too old to put bombs. "

Luis Buñuel Portolés was a child born in Calanda who very soon lived in Zaragoza, in a house with 10 balconies and five maids, went and returned in a horse carriage as a half-pensioner to the Jesuits (Mass at seven thirty and rosary in the afternoon) and took violin lessons at age 13. And, as was necessary then, her virginity lost her in a brothel.

These memories of Buñuel (succulent, lavish in details) betray their author both for what counts and for what he forgets. No sign of egolatry when he won the Cannes Golden Palm in 1961 for Viridiana, the Golden Lion of Venice in 1967 by Belle de jour or the Oscar in 1973 for The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie. He does comment on the tribute that Georges Cukor urged and that he gathered at his home to (nothing less) Hitchcock, John Ford, William Wyler, Billy Wilder, Robert Wise … But he only dedicates a page and a half. On the other hand, he stops at all kinds of abuses when he was part of that group of funny bandits who were called surrealists. Thanks to Man Ray and Louis Aragon seeing and getting excited about A chien andalou (1929) entered the fratry that met daily at the Cyrano café: André Breton, Max Ernst, Paul Eluard, Tristan Tzara, René Char, Magritte … "They all shook my hand." And he says it as if nothing. In passing, too, he comments that A chien andalou It was eight months on the bill, which Charles Chaplin saw her 10 times and that when he wanted to scare his daughter Geraldine he told her some of his scenes (confession made by his countryman Carlos Saura, who was married to her).

Just read the chapter For and against to know his mythomanias: he adored The 120 days of Sodom from the Marquis de Sade, the music of Wagner, the north and the cold, the noise of the rain ("now I hear it with a device, but it is not the same noise"), I couldn't stand Borges ("I don't respect anyone because I'm a good writer. I find it quite presumptuous and self-worshiper "), he felt more than sympathy for Galdós (" often comparable to Dostoevsky "), Romanesque, Gothic and punctuality. Fritz Lang's first movies: "they decided my life". Not to mention weapons: "I have owned up to 65 revolvers and rifles, but I sold most of my collection in 1964, persuaded that I was going to die that year."

Thus ends the book, impeccable, disconcerting, like the previous 250 pages: "One thing I regret: not knowing what will happen. Leaving the world in full motion, like in the middle of a booklet. I believe that you are curious about what happen after death there was no yesteryear, or less so, in a world that hardly changed. One confession: despite my hatred of information, I wish I could get up from the dead every 10 years, get to a kiosk and buy several newspapers. I wouldn't ask for anything else. With my newspapers under my arm, pale, brushing the walls, I would return to the cemetery and read the disasters of the world before going back to sleep, satisfied, in the tranquil refuge of the grave. "

According to the criteria of

The Trust Project

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. (tagsToTranslate) culture / literature (t) cinema

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