movie review: the exterminating angel

Holy shit was The Exterminating Angel (1962) cool and weird. It’s about a group of high society people who are at a dinner party after the opera and then they are inexplicably stuck in the sitting room, or parlour or whatever you call some fancy entertaining room that has a piano in a mansion. There’s nothing actually holding them in there. They can toss stuff out of the room, but they can’t leave. People outside can’t enter the house; they don’t know if anyone inside is still alive, though they can detect foul stenches. Civilization eventually collapses. Not just in the room. That might be a spoiler.

I was watching the Criterion Collection DVD so I watched a couple of interviews and read the booklet and was very happy that the actors had no idea what the hell was going on. They just did what Luis Bunuel told them. And there are these repetitions that make you wonder what’s going on structurally. Like the high societyfolk all enter the mansion twice. They come in and go upstairs to get rid of their coats and then they come in and go upstairs to get rid of their coats. It was awesome.

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