Simón del Desierto(Luis Buñuel) 1965 **** 2/19/2016

A penitent with a penchant for side-mouthed put-down from his perilous pedestal is Simón, long-haired and abscessed under the baking desert sun.  Between hand restoring miracles and a frothy-mouthed exorcism of a member of the order of monks who honor him, the Lord’s disciple prays and is thrice tempted by Satan, a busty Spanish beauty with dark flashing eyes.  She bares her breasts and she pretends his penance is done, he resists.  Simón’s mother waits on him in a shack by his pillar for his death, a mother’s devotion and sacrifice with commensurate feeling and more apparent depth of emotion than Simón’s for the heavenly Father.  Satan baring a breast like Hippolyta rises from a coffin to transport him to a swinging city nightclub with screaming guitar and beautiful young people gyrating the “Radioactive Flesh,” which is, by Satan’s prescription, the last dance.  The striking shots of the film include the plane passing overhead, the clouds over the dwarf’s head, and Simón looking always down on the world below.

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