“Two very different ways of directing the film were open to me: realism, or Marx Brothers. How can one separate the real from the surreal? In the end, they blend and merge into one other.”
For their third collaboration, Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière chose to make a film based on the principle of repetition. Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie revolves entirely around a ritual dear to this caste: the meal – or, in this case, the absence of a meal since the protagonists never manage to finish their feasts. The perpetual frustration this causes to the characters has a powerfully comical effect, accentuated by the increasingly absurd, dark humour. Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Delphine Seyrig, Bulle Ogier, Stéphane Audran and Jean-Pierre Cassel portray these bourgeois clichés, revealing their flaws and their quirks.