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2,753 Ratings

The Phantom of Liberty

Le fantôme de la liberté

Directed by Luis Buñuel
France, Italy, 1974
Comedy, Drama, Avant-Garde


Bourgeois convention is demolished in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem The Phantom of Liberty. Featuring an elegant soirée with guests seated on toilet bowls, poker-playing monks using religious medals as chips, and police officers looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses…

Our take

Following his Oscar win for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Buñuel landed his biggest production—which birthed one of his most incendiary films of subversive hilarity. A seemingly endless cast of international stars rounds out this cinematic reckoning with the absurdity of modern existence.

The Phantom of Liberty Directed by Luis Buñuel
Anything is possible in a picaresque tale like The Milky Way, but this narrative rebellion was most deviously achieved with The Phantom of Liberty. . . . The Phantom of Liberty was born from the dreams of Buñuel and Carrière and grew into an exploitation of this very whimsy, and the freedom to form one of the director’s most comically brazen chronicles.
February 22, 2018
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By simply switching around the processes of consumption and excretion, the director draws our attention to the random absurdities of our daily rituals. This is satire that cuts deep: Somewhere beneath our laughter, Buñuel is completely rearranging the way we see the world.
March 28, 2017
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While OBJECT has a great story idea and a great casting gimmick, PHANTOM, like DISCRETE CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE before it, has a ton of ideas and a ton of gimmicks, many of them brilliant. It lacks the unifying conceit of its predecessor, it’s true (friends try to have dinner; fail) but the way it weaves its fragmented sketches together, and the way some of them return for encores, I find dazzling.
December 05, 2016
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