Thursday, February 27, 2014
Luis Buñuel | Los olvidados (The Forgotten Ones)
by Douglas Messerli
Luis Alcoriz and Luis Buñuel (writers, with dialogue by Max Aub, Juan Larrea and Pedro de Urdimalas), Luis Buñuel (director) Los olvidados (The Forgotten Ones / The Young and the Damned) / 1950, USA 1952
Luis Buñuel’s powerful 1950 Mexican film, Los olviadados, is a study of betrayals—betrayals by family members, street friends, neighbors and, most importantly, of society itself. The young boys at the center of Buñuel’s work have hardly any chance to survive, being prisoners of their economic and sociological conditions. The marvel of this film, however, is not simply its political and sociological statements, but the way in which it helps us to comprehend each of these often unsympathetic characters’ behavior. Each act seemingly out of selfish necessity, but we come to recognize those behavioral needs, and comprehend how their obsessions arise from their simple attempts to survive in a society that seemingly does not want them to.
Los Angeles, February 27, 2014