Luis Bunuel – Quotes

“In a world as badly made as ours, there is only one road – rebellion.”

A paranoiac like a poet, is born, not made.

“Sex without religion is like cooking an egg without salt. Sin gives more chance to desire…

“All of us were supporters of a certain concept of revolution, and although the surrealists didn’t consider themselves terrorists, they were constantly fighting a society they despised. The principle weapon was not guns, of course, it was scandal. Scandal was a potent agent of revelation, capable of exposing such social crimes as exploitation of one man by another, colonialist imperialism, religious tyranny – in sum, all the secret and odious underpinnings of a system that had to be destroyed”

“For the first time in my life, I’d come into contact with a coherent moral system that, as far as I could tell, had no flaws. It was an aggressive morality based on the complete rejection of all existing values. We had other criteria: we exalted passion, mystification, black humor, the insult, and the call of the abyss. Inside this new territory, all our thoughts and actions seemed justifiable; there was simply no room for doubt. Everything made sense. Our morality may have been more demanding and more dangerous than the prevailing order, but it was also stronger, richer, more coherent”

“As I drift toward my last sigh, I often imagine a final joke. I convoke around my deathbed my friends who are confirmed atheists as I am. Then a priest, whom I have summoned, arrives; and to the horror of my friends, I make my confession, ask for absolution for my sins, and receive extreme unction. After which I turn over on my side and expire. But will I have the strength to joke at that moment?

Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.

Fortunately, somewhere between chance and mystery lies imagination, the only thing that protects our freedom, despite the fact that people keep trying to reduce it or kill it off altogether.

Frankly, despite my horror of the press, I’d love to rise from the grave every ten years or so and go buy a few newspapers.

God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed.

I can only wait for the final amnesia, the one that can erase an entire life.

If you were to ask me if I’d ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I’d have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead.

In the name of Hippocrates, doctors have invented the most exquisite form of torture ever known to man: survival.

Thank God I’m an atheist.

“The thought of death has been familiar to me for a long time. From the time that skeletons were carried through the streets of Calanda during the Holy Week procession, death has been an integral part of my life. I’ve never wished to forget or deny it, but there’s not much to say about it when you’re an atheist”

The decline of the aperitif may well be one of the most depressing phenomena of our time.

“As a young man, [Salvador Dali] was totally asexual, and forever making fun of friends who fell in love or ran after women – until the day he lost his virginity to Gala & wrote me a 6-page letter detailing, in his own inimitable way, the pleasures of carnal love. (Gala’s the only woman he ever really made love to. Of course, he’s seduced many, particularly American heiresses; but those seductions usually entailed stripping them naked in his apartment, frying a couple of eggs, putting them on the woman’s shoulders, and, without a word, showing them to the door.)” excerpted from Luis Buñuel’s autobiography, My Last Sigh

“We wrote the script in less than a week, following a very simple idea, adopted by common agreement: not to accept any idea or image that might give rise to a rational, psychological or cultural explanation”.  Un Chien andalou. (Quoted in Instituto Cervantes, Buñuel, 100 año: es peligroso asomarse al Interior/ Buñuel, 100 Years: It’ s Dangerous to Look Inside, Instituto Cervantes; Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001, p. 62.)

“The extreme right attacked the movie theatre, tore up the paintings in the surrealist exhibit that had been set up in the foyer, threw bombs at the screen, and destroyed seats. It was the “scandal” of L’Age d’or. A week later, Chiappe, civil governor, purely and simply banned the film in the name of public order”. L’Age d’or.  Quoted in Instituto Cervantes, Buñuel, 100 año: es peligroso asomarse al Interior/ Buñuel, 100 Years: It’ s Dangerous to Look Inside, Instituto Cervantes; Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001, p. 62.


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