Life imitates art

discreet_charm  2007-08-19-ShabbeyRoad2

That’s what Oscar Wilde said, life imitates art, not the other way ’round.  I’ve been watching some Luis Bunuel films, and both he and Oscar would be amused by this pair of images, or appalled, maybe.

The one on the left is from The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie from 1972.  The one on the right is of the Bush Gang on his ranch in 2007.  A similar, but better image appeared on the front page of the NY Times and I immediately thought of the lost souls of La charme discret,  walking, walking, walking, never getting anywhere… [In the Times' image, Condi was facing 3/4 backwards, as if beckoning to Georgie Bush to c'mon...]  Were the editors and photographers of the paper thinking what I’m thinking now?

The movie is mostly dreams, some dreams within dreams, of two French bourgeois men who can’t ever seem to get time to eat their dinner or to have proper sex.  They are always being interrupted by…reality?  In one sequence, the ambassador from the Latin American nation of Miranda is at a party and repeatedly asked uncomfortable questions by guests:  Is it true that Miranda has the highest homicide rate in the world?  The greatest infant mortality?  That poverty is at an all-time high?  No, no, no.  Exaggerations.  Not that bad at all.  Finally, the importunate questioning is too much, and he shoots one of his tormentors…and awakes.

They are all liars, hypocrites, criminals, and frauds.   They deal in cocaine and denounce the degradation of the times over cocktails.  The priest is deeply pious, and he even grants absolution to the man he confesses who turns out to be the killer of his parents.  Then he shoots the man with a shotgun.

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