The Exterminating Angel

Director: Luis Buñuel
Year Released: 1962
Rating: 2.0

Buñuel's famously glib, one-joke movie plays a cruel prank on the bourgeoisie by bringing them together for a dinner party and then making them (magically) unable to leave - as the days pass they bicker, have to break apart the wall for water, experience hallucinations, get sick and stink up the place. It didn't work for me when I saw it over a decade ago and doesn't work for me now, and you'd think it would: like Buñuel, I dislike organized religion and the repulsively wealthy. But in terms of structure it's really a fixed game: he sets up the wealthy to be odious and ignorant ("I think the lower classes are less sensitive to pain") and encourages the audience to go along with hating them and laughing at their forced squalor - condescension is rarely something to praise. The rich don't learn anything by being mistreated, and only think to turn to religion, where they get stuck in a church. And so on.