The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie‘s story line — along with what in the film is and isn’t real — might not be wholly penetrable, at least on one viewing. However, it’s easy to grasp Bunuel’s central, playful idea about exposing the hypocrisy of the upper reaches of French society, a world in which knowing how to make and drink the perfect martini is more important than the fact that you make your money dealing cocaine. (It should be noted that Bunuel himself was very concerned about the perfect martini.)
The premise of Bourgeoisie is nothing: A group of six dubious pillars of society sit down to a meal that never happens. During various attempts at dining, an interruption always occurs — each time more bizarre and absurd than the one before. There’s not much more to the story line than that, but what Bunuel does with it is delightful, insightful and wholly remarkable. A true treasure of cinema from one its most distinctive masters.
Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Friday, Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com