the Golden Age
FR, 63 min
Co-written by Buñuel and Salvador Dali, the film strings together various interrelated vignettes; a blend of Sadean themes and surreal sets by Dalí, who left the project halfway through. Wildly satirical, blasphemous and pornographic for its time.
The film was financed to the tune of a million francs by the nobleman Vicomte Charles de Noailles, who beginning in 1928 commissioned a film every year for the birthday of his wife Marie-Laure de Noailles. When it was first released, there was a storm of protest. The film premiered at Studio 28 in Paris on November 29 1930 after receiving its permit from the Board of Censors. In order to get the permit, Buñuel had to present the film to the Board as the dream of a madman.
On 3 December 1930, a group of incensed members of the fascist League of Patriots threw ink at the screen, assaulted members of the audience, and destroyed art work by Dalí, Joan Miró, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy and others on display in the lobby. On 10 December, the Paris Prefect of Police, Jean Chiappe, arranged to have the film banned after the Board of Censors reviewed the film. The film did not have its official US premiere until 1-15 November 1979 at the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco.