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That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Fr./Sp.) (aka Cet Obscur Objet du Désir)

In director Luis Buneul's final surrealistic film:

  • the revolutionary, interchangeable use of two actresses to portray two different sides of the personality of one of the main characters: - elusive, 19 year-old former chambermaid and working class dancer Conchita Perez -- as both
    - a voluptuous, tantalizing and beautiful lover (Spanish actress Angela Molina), and as
    - a cold, aloof and unattainable female (French actress Carole Bouquet)
  • the story of sexual politics told mostly in flashback as a series of vignettes, as successful Spanish businessman and male-chauvinistic widower Mathieu Fabert (Fernando Rey) became obsessed with her
  • his sexual frustration and anguish clearly demonstrated when the alluring, carnal, teasing and erotic side of her personality enticed him for favors, but then changed to a disinterested, unobtainable female wearing a full, elaborately-laced pelvic corset (that was similar to a chastity belt and impossible to remove) who refused his lustful advances


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