‘The Young One’ Sees Luis Buñuel Tackle the American South

When thinking of Luis Buñuel, a couple of recurring things usually come to mind: the bourgeoisie, eye-slicing, people getting trapped in rooms, foot fetishization and Catherine Deneuve having sex with people. What doesn’t tend to come to mind is the idea of the director helming a feature set in the American South. In fact, the English language doesn’t tend to come to mind with Buñuel’s films at all. But he did make two films in the English language, and the US/Mexico co-production The Young Oneis one of them. And it at least kept the foot fetishisation, much to the delight of Quentin Tarantino, I’m sure.

With The Young One, Buñuel rejects the surrealism that would define his early films and almost all the European work that followed, presenting a rather straightforward narrative with superficial similarities to a Tennessee Williams screenplay (Baby Doll certainly comes to mind). That is not to say, though, that The Young One, also known as White Trash, is anything like a mainstream proposition free of provocation. Making a film during the height of the Civil Rights movement (with a black main character) and setting it in the rural south screams pot-stirring, and that’s before you throw in a certain other element of the plot…

Full feature published at Vague Visages

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