The day was redeemed by Manoel de Oliveira’s playful homage to Luis Buñuel, Belle Toujours. Inspired by Buñuel’s Belle de Jour, de Oliveira’s film revisits the characters, 38 years later. Michel Piccoli reprises the role of Monsieur Husson, and Bulle Ogier plays Catherine Deneuve’s Séverine. Once again, secret desires, sadism, and a mysterious box feature prominently, and de Oliveira succeeds in giving Buñuel’s themes a brand-new spin without sacrificing any of the original’s mystery. Piccoli’s bemused laughter forms a haunting refrain.

Belle Toujours. Manoel de Oliveira, 2006. ***

[tags]film, 3 stars, maoel de oliveira, nyff, paris, luis bunuel, sequel, hommage[/tags]