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Saturday July 21st 2018

Nazarin | 1958

The attempt of Mexican priest Padre Nazario (Francisco Rabal) to follow literally the teachings of Christianity result in futility. Though he does, at least, end up with a pineapple for his pains.

Anarchic director Luis Buñuel, not surprisingly, subverts Benito Perez Galdos’ evangelical novel but, surprisingly, the film was subsequently awarded a prize by the Office Catholique International du Cinema at Cannes.

It was made in the famous Churubusco Studio in Mexico City, while the village is Jonacatepec, about 55 miles southeast.

With typical perversity, whenever cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa set up a beautifully composed shot, with Popocatepetl majestically looming in the background, Buñuel would reverse the angle of the shot to the banal view in the opposite direction, deliberately avoiding the picturesque.