As the father of cinematic Surrealism, extensive critical attention has been devoted to Luis Bunuel's cinema. Much has been written about his first Surrealist films of the 1920s and 1930s and the French art movies of the 1960s and 1970s, and analysis of his films has tended to be through the lens of male heterosexuality. However, here for the first time is a queer re-reading of Bunuel's Spanish-language films allowing us to view Bunuel's cinema through a lens of queer spectatorship. Focusing on the films Bunuel produced in Mexico and Spain during the 1950s and 1960s, Julian Daniel Gutierrez-Albilla argues not that Bunuel's films have a homosexual subplot, but that there are multiple forms of identity, subjectivity and sexuality present in these five representative films. The approach may at first glance seem unusual, given Bunuel's more habitual association with reactionary attitudes, but Gutierrez-Albilla successfully and convincingly demonstrates that for all his prejudices Bunuel complicates questions of desire and subjectivity in surprising ways. Gutirrez-Albilla covers Los olvidados (1950), Viridiana (1961), El ngel exterminador (1962), Ensayo de un crimen (1955), and l (1952), providing the opportunity for detailed analysis. Through these films Gutirrez-Albilla challenges traditional analysis and proposes that we can re-read Buuel's Spanish-language films as invalidating the prevalent model of gender, sexual identity and subjectivity within patriarchal and heterosexist ideology. Instead Gutirrez-Albilla offers the reader a new methodological and theoretical framework to re-read Buuel's films: he draws on psychoanalysis and contemporary queer and feminist theory, comparing them with Surrealist-informed visual arts. 'Queering Buuel ' brings together the fields of film studies, feminist and queer theory, Hispanic studies, psychoanalysis and art theory. Gutirrez-Albilla succeeds in reconceptualizing Buuel's Mexican and Spanish films beyond geographical, historical and disciplinary boundaries, questioning not just how we see Buuel, but also how we see cinema.
Sexual Dissidence and Psychoanalysis in His Mexican and Spanish Cinema