Sunday, June 5, 2016

That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

French title: Cet obscur objet du désir
dir. Luis Buñuel

Buñuel's last film was freely inspired by Pierre Louÿs's 1898 novel La femme et le pantin. The book was filmed several times, including the 1935 version The Devil is a Woman with Marlene Dietrich and the 1959 version with Brigitte Bardot. Faithful to his surrealist roots, Buñuel decided that the role of Conchita would be played by two different actresses – Angela Molina and Carole Bouquet.

The opening credits – Plaza de la Magdalena, Seville, Spain. This is Buñuel’s homage to Pierre Louÿs who stayed at the now gone Hotel de Paris at this square (then called the Plaza del Pacifico) in 1895. The plaza has since been redeveloped, and the beautiful palm trees are no longer there.

Mathieu (Fernando Rey) buys a train ticket to Paris – Calle Campana 7, Seville, Spain. The travel agency is now a clothing store.

Mathieu's Seville mansion – Paseo de la Palmera 50, Seville, Spain.

A rich man’s car is blown up by terrorists – Paseo de la Palmera at Calle Torcuato Luca de Tena, Seville, Spain. The terrorists' victim was played by the film’s producer Serge Silberman.

Mathieu boarding a train to Madrid – Plaza de Armas Station aka Old Cordoba Station, Plaza de Armas, Seville, Spain. It stopped functioning as a railway station in 1990, briefly served as the Seville Pavilion during Expo ’92, and has since been converted into a shopping mall.

Mathieu admiring a lake view – Quai de Belgique, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Mathieu's hotel in Lausanne where he meets with Conchita – Beau-Rivage Palace, Place du Port 17, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Conchita and her mother's apartment in France – 56bis Rue Louis Blanc, Courbevoie, France. The area has since been redeveloped, and is no longer recognizable.

Conchita's mother coming out of a church – Eglise Saint Jean-Baptiste, 158 Avenue Charles de Gaulle, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

Mathieu’s servant Martin (André Weber) conveys his master's invitation to Conchita’s mother – Avenue Charles de Gaulle, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

Conchita (Carole Bouquet) quits her job as a hatcheck girl – Jardin du Palais Royal, France. The Palais Royal Garden also served as the backdrop for suspenseful sequences in Charade and Marathon Man.

Mathieu’s Parisian home – Still searching for this location.

Conchita (Angela Molina) taking pictures of Mathieu – Allée des Cygnes (Path of Swans), Île aux Cygnes, France. It is a narrow artificial island on the river Seine, probably best known for its scaled replica of the Statue of Liberty, featured in Roman Polanski's Frantic.

Terrorists shoot people at the street corner – Rue Rembrandt at Rue de Lisbonne, Paris, France. Many thanks to Lois for finding this location.

Mathieu on the restaurant terrace overlooking Seville – Hotel Luz Sevilla, Calle Martin Villa 6, Seville, Spain. The hotel closed some time ago, and its place is now occupied by an apartment block and an office building. It shouldn't be confused with the Hotel Husa Los Seises that also has a terrace with a panoramic view of the city.

Mathieu and Martin are accosted by two gypsies – Patio de los Naranjos (Orange Trees Courtyard), Seville, Spain.

Mathieu admires a view of the Seville Cathedral and its Giralda Tower, Seville, Spain. Officially called Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See), it is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. The Giralda is the former minaret of the mosque that stood on the site under Moorish rule, with a Renaissance style top subsequently added by Spaniards. The cathedral has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

Mathieu is invited to dinner – French Consulate, Plaza de Santa Cruz, Seville, Spain. The plaza was named after the Iglesia de Santa Cruz (Church of the Holy Cross), a church that once stood on the site and gave its name to the entire neighborhood. The church was constructed over the ruins of a synagogue, but was in its turn demolished during the Napoleonic Wars. The current Iglesia de Santa Cruz is located in Calle Mateos Gago.

The religious procession – Plaza de la Alianza, Seville, Spain.

Mathieu respectfully takes off his hat as the procession passes by – Plaza de la Alianza 9, Seville, Spain.

Mathieu unexpectedly meets with Conchita and her mother – Plaza de la Alianza 8, Seville, Spain.

The apartment that Mathieu bought for Conchita – Calle Vida 7, Seville, Spain.

Mathieu is carjacked – Calle de Nicolás Antonio, Seville, Spain.

Mathieu and Conchita arrive in Madrid – Atocha Station, Calle Estación, Madrid, Spain. A new terminal building was constructed in the early 1990s, and the old station was taken out of service, and converted into a concourse with shops, cafés, and a tropical garden.

Mathieu is back in Paris – Place de la Concorde, Paris, France.

Mathieu and Conchita taking a stroll along the Tuileries Garden – Rue de Rivoli, Paris, France.

Mathieu and Conchita shopping and the explosive finale – Galerie Vivienne, 4 Rue des Petits Champs, Paris, France. It is one of the covered passages of Paris, located between the Palais Royal, the stock exchange and the Grands Boulevards. It was registered as a historical monument in 1974.

See also...

Belle de Jour

Last Year at Marienbad

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