The Literary and Arts Magazine of Lehman College

Don’t Ask, It’s Surreal

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CINÉMONDAYSWITHHARDIK:

The Exterminating Angel

Dir. Luis Buñuel

I’m not a party animal. But whenever my dorm friends back in India threw late-night parties, I’d immediately become one: a sloth with all limbs stretched, in bed. I’d sleep till the following afternoon, then leave, most likely. I wasn’t dorming—I was, as they’d put it, a localite. Why wouldn’t I leave for home on time? What time? Isn’t afternoon ‘time’? I don’t know why I wouldn’t leave for home at some conventional hour, but I knew that I was probably very tired from all the excitement of the night before. Why did I leave and not just stay there forever? Well, what can I tell? I’d come across this proverb—‘A hedge between keeps the friendship green’—quite early in my life.

In Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, the hedge, to say, has been broken. A lavish dinner party after an opera, company of other elites, and no one is able to just leave. Morning, then evening, then morning, then evening, so on. Elites have servants, but they’ve left. There’s no water, no food. But why? Don’t ask. “We don’t want answers, we want to get out of here!” You might want more answers, for quite literally the party ‘animals,’ the life of parties, have joined guests and the hosts. Bears, sheep. But why?

To find out, you’ll have to watch it, that is, between your laughs; the promise is you won’t stop laughing, just remember it’s surreal.

~ Hardik Yadav

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