Susana - Analysis


Though the movie means to be steamy, Buñuel is apparently more amused than shocked by Susana's brazen ambition and the no-nonsense way she goes about her conquests. Toward the end, when the traffic in and out of Susana's bedroom is fairly heavy, the movie has the manner of a grandly operatic farce. Miss Quintana is suitably outrageous as Susana, a kind of rough sketch of the character who would later appear in the person of Catherine Deneuve in Buñuel's 1970 classic, Tristana. That film is also recalled because of the appearance of Fernando Soler, who plays the susceptible Don Guadalupe and who looks remarkably like Fernando Rey, the star of Buñuel's last, great films.

Gilles Deleuze in his work Cinema 1: The Movement Image talks about the impulse-image in Susana "that achieves the complete exhaustion of a milieu: mother, servant, son and father. The impulse must be exhaustive. It is not even sufficient to say that the impulse contents itself with what a milieu gives it or leaves to it. This contentment is not resignation, but a great joy in which the impulse rediscovers its power of choice, since it is, at the deepest level, the desire to change milieu, to seek a new milieu to explore, to dislocate, enjoying all the more what this milieu offers, however low, repulsive or disgusting it may be. The joys of the impulse cannot be measured against the affect, that is, against the intrinsic qualities of the possible object."

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