The question of the hour! Was Luis Buñuel a fetishist? Quite possibly. As you watch the array of feet, fancy shoes, lingerie, stockings, and other typical objects of fetishism drift through this lovely video essay Cole Smithey recently made for Criterion, it would be hard to think he was anything else. And yet what about that, in his work? Are these semi-prurient images from such great, frustrating films as The Phantom of Liberty or Belle de Jour meant to be satisfaction of the viewer’s depraved cravings or are they, in fact, studies of these cravings? Is each fetish meant to be seen in quote marks, as a commentary on humans’ uncontrollable impulses? It will probably be best for you to watch this short piece, to the tune of the Hallelujah chorus, and decide for yourself.
Watch: Was Luis Buñuel a Fetishist? A Video Essay