The only Tony Scott film I had yet to see, and therefore the subject of my entry in Twitch’s Full Disclosure feature for this month. I had more to say, but you can read that here.
Marking Luis Buñuel’s return to Spanish cinema after years of living and working in Mexico, Tristana is a dark brooding melodrama. Based on a novel by Benito Pérez Galdós, Tristana is exquisitely shot and brimming with questions about the changing place of religion and morality in modern Spain.
Catherine Deneuve plays Tristana, an innocent, orphaned young woman who is taken in by the much older don Lope Garrido, played by Fernando Rey. Don Lope is much older and embodies many contradictions, he comes from local nobility, yet rejects wealth and industry, he has a very progressive attitude towards religion and sexual morals and yet upholds mediaeval notions of chivalry.
Buñel moves us quickly through the lives of the characters, as the months and years pass and the characters adapt to their choices and changing circumstances. This encourages us to question each character’s decisions and sense of identity. This is a powerful social critique served to us in very subtle ways.
Tristana is now available on Blu-Ray from the Cohen Media Group, who are producing digital releases to rival the quality and packaging of the Criterion Collection. In this edition Tristana looked wonderful; clean but not too polished. There’s also a handsome booklet, with essays and excerpts from Deneuve’s diary and a commentary track as well, to round out the experience.