|The day will soon come when we
realise that, in spite of the wear and tear of life that bites like acid
into our flesh, the very cornerstone of that violent liberation which
reaches out for a better life in the heart of the technological age that
corrupts our cities is
Only love remains beyond the realm of that which our imagination can grasp, dominating the deepness of the wind, the well full of diamonds, the constructions of the spirit and the logic of the flesh.
The problem created by the bankruptcy of our emotions, intimately linked with the problem of capitalism, has not yet been resolved....
Bunuel has formulated a theory of revolution and love which goes to the very core of human nature; that most tragic of all debates, galvanised by well-meaning cruelty, finds its ultimate expression in that unique instant when a distant yet wholly present voice, so slowly yet so urgently, yells through compressed lips so loudly that it can scarcely be heard:
....All those who are not yet alarmed by what the censorship allows them to read in the newspapers must go and see L’Age d’or. It complements the present stock-exchange crisis perfectly, and its impact is all the more direct precisely because it is surrealist....The foundations are laid, conventions become dogma, policemen push people around just as they do in everyday life. And, just as in everyday life, accidents occur in bourgeois society while that society pays no attention whatsoever. But such accidents ( and it must be noted that in Bunuel’s film they remain uncorrupted by plausibility) further debilitate an already-rotting society that tries to prolong its existence artificially by the use of priests and policemen. The final pessimism born within that society as its optimism begins to wane becomes a powerful virus that hastens the process of disintegration. That pessimism takes on the value of negation and is immediately translated into anti-clericalism; it thus becomes revolutionary, because the fight against religion is also the fight against the world as it is.
But it is Love which brings about the transition from pessimism to action; Love, denounced in the bourgeois demonology as the root of all evil. For Love demands the sacrifice of every other value: status, family and honour. And the failure of Love within the social framework leads to revolt. This process can be seen in th life and works of the Marquis de Sade, who live in the golden age of absolute monarchy....so that it is no coincidence if Bunuel’s sacrilegious film contains echoes of the blasphemies which the Divine Marquis hurled through the bars of his jail.
It still remains to be demonstrated that the final outcome of this pessimism will in fact be the struggle and the victory of the proletariat, which will mean the abolition of a society made up of different classes.
In this age so-called prosperity, the social function of L’Age d’or must be to urge the oppressed to satisfy their hunger for destruction and perhaps even to cater for the masochism of the oppressor.
In spite of all threats to suppress this film, we believe that it will win out in the end and open new horizons in a sky which can never match in beauty that sky it showed us in a mirror.
Maxime ALEXANDRE ARAGON Andre BRETON Rene CHAR Rene CREVEL Salvador DALI Paul ELUARD Benjamin PERET Georges Sadoul Andre THIRION Trstan TZARA Pierre UNIK Albert VALENTIN
Manifesto on L’Age d’or (excerpt)
The Spirit of Bohemia copyright 1997-2006....where imagination, art and the eclectic meet.