Sunday Movie - Belle de Jour by Louis Buñuel, with intro by Dr Jimmy Hay
Buñuel’s masterpiece, Belle de Jour tells the story of Séverine (Catherine Deneuve), a young affluent housewife who, frustrated with the restrictions of her upper middle-class existence, takes a job as a prostitute in the Parisian brothel of Madame Anais.
Directed by notorious director Luis Buñuel, the film is simultaneously a scathing commentary on the oppressive nature of bourgeois society, and a highly subjective exploration of female sexuality, repression, and identity.
Told throughout from the perspective of Séverine, the film subtly blurs the lines between fantasy and reality and - typically of Buñuel - tackles what was a highly taboo subject with playful and unapologetic candour.
Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1967, Belle de Jour is - with the possible exception of his surrealist masterpiece Un Chien Andalou - Buñuel's most famous and often discussed film.
Dr Jimmy Hay
Jimmy is a filmmaker and academic. He is a Lecturer in Film and Television at the University of Bristol, and his debut feature film, High Tide, was released theatrically in 2015, and on DVD in 2016. He recently directed the BFI and Film Cymru Wales funded short film Zero Sum, which premiered at the Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival, and is currently developing a second feature film. He has written on a number of areas of European and American Independent Cinema, including an article on the award-winning short film Alumbramiento (Chapero-Jackson, 2007) in the journal Short Film Studies, as well as a chapter on the relationship between space and sexual behaviour in the films Belle de Jour (Bunuel, 1967) and The Piano Teacher (Haneke, 2001), for the Wiley-Blackwell published volume,' Companion to Luis Bunuel (Stone, R. & Gutiérrez-Albilla, J. D. 2012).