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Objects of Desire: The Films of Luis Buñuel

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy presents Fever Rises in El Pao and Death in the Garden, as part of the retrospective Objects of Desire: The Films of Luis Buñuel organized in partnership with National Gallery of Art, the American University’s School of Communication and College of Arts and Sciences, SPAIN Arts & Culture, Mexican Cultural Institute and American Film Institute.


Luis Buñuel is recognized as one of cinema’s great subversives and mischief makers. Born in Spain in 1900, he immigrated to France in 1925 where he joined the Surrealists led by poet André Breton.
The avant-garde artist soon became an international movie director. He pursued his career in the United States and in Mexico which he discovered during its “Golden Age” of cinema in the mid-1940s.
Mexican-French co-productions Fever Rises in El Pao and Death in the Gardenare part of the “revolutionary triptych” (trilogy) described by film critic Raymond Durgnat: an exploration of morals, politics and power brilliantly shot through Luis Buñuel’s surrealist eyes.

Fever rises in el pao, November 9, 7pm
(Mexico-France, 1959, 97 min)
In a Latin America dictatorship, Governor Mariano Vargas is assassinated. His executive secretary, the idealistic Ramon Vasquez, who is in love with the widow Inés Rojas, is assigned director of security and in charge of the prison. When the new governor Alejandro Gual Miguel arrives in the island, he tries to eliminate his romantic rival. But Inés knows the political games and manipulations. Fever Rises in El Pao is one of Luis Bunuel’s most explosively political work.

Death in the garden, November 22, 7pm
(Mexico-France, 1956, 104 min)
Amid a revolution in a South American mining outpost, a band of fugitives –a notorious adventurer, a local hooker, a priest, an aging diamond miner, and his deaf-mute daughter– are forced to flee for their lives into the jungle. Shot in vibrant Eastmancolor, Death in the Garden is an adventure film with Surrealist gestures and symbolism.