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I rarely watch long fictional films and have never seen any by Luis Buñuel so I don't get it.

You needn't have seen any Luis Bunuel film to "get it." Jesus wouldn't (shouldn't?) be shaving his beard; after all, he is a rabbi, and rabbis must obey the law of Leviticus: thou shalt not shave your beard. Bunuel has a scene in his movie, The Milky Way, showing, as a non sequitur to the scene before it and the scene after it, Jesus with his mother, Mary catching him in the act of shaving. She says, "Oh, good, you look so much better without your beard!" Well, I think I caught the joke. Bunuel is like that. His humor derives as much for the juxtaposition of images and their placement in the scenario -- his version of surrealism -- as from anything outrightly funny. If you have Netflix, you can rent this film. It is in my "Top Ten Atheist Movies of All Time." Another one is John Huston's Wise Blood. As an atheist I don't know how  you could fail to respond positively to such movies.

I will check out Wise Blood on Hulu http://www.hulu.com/watch/215865 but couldn't find The Milky Way in English for free.

Sounds interesting !

They have a Criterion version of the Bunuel film. Here is how the website describes the film:

"The first of what Luis Buñuel later proclaimed a trilogy (along with The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Phantom of Liberty) about “the search for truth,” The Milky Way (La voie lactee) daringly deconstructs contemporary and traditional views on Catholicism with ribald, rambunctious surreality. Two French beggars, present-day pilgrims en route to Spain’s holy city of Santiago de Compostela, serve as Buñuel’s narrators for an anticlerical history of heresy, told with absurdity and filled with images that rank among Buñuel’s most memorable (stigmatic children, crucified nuns) and hilarious (Jesus considering a good shave). A diabolically entertaining look at the mysteries of fanaticism, The Milky Way remains a hotly debated work from cinema’s greatest skeptic."

Ah, but James. Will Jesus still have a beard in heaven? Will he still wear the clothes of his times on earth or will he wear modern clothes? If the latest modern clothes, how will the 12 know him? How, in fact, would we know him? Will he have aged any?

I once had a vision in which the Virgin Mary appeared to me. She was nothing but dust. I was unable to tell if she really was Mary, or to prove that she was a virgin.

No, the Nazz is a cool cat. He's writing songs with Jerry Garcia, telling Phillip Seymour Hoffman how to play him in a biblical epic, and cracking jokes with Lenny Bruce.

The guy's been dead for 2,000 years, IF he ever existed in the first place. So how could his beard (if he ever had one at all) have continued to grow? Yes, there MAY have been "someone" named Jesus in the first century CE. But not the one people have been brainwashed about since then. Although it was not my choice to have been brainwashed and indoctrinated by all that garbage as a very young child, I'm still very ashamed that I was part of that for WAY too many years.

Well, the meme should have made it clear that we are talking about 2,000 years ago, when God "sent his only begotten son...." What if God had said, "Jesus is having another depressive phase in his bipolar syndrome. That sort of thing. Just as in the Bunuel film, where Jesus is about to go out among the people and his mother is encouraging him to shave off his beard. That was my point of reference. Bunuel is famous for saying, "Thank God I'm an atheist."

Haven't you heard, KJ, that "all things are possible ... "  Before I defected, I must have heard that a thousand times. 

Ironically, their slogan is technically correct. Everything that could happen will happen in potentia. You get Schroedingers's Cat. Or you might have multiverses. I once wrote a short detective story about a man who comes home and goes into one of two rooms at the top of the stairs, one actually containing his wife in bed with another man; the other, an empty guest room. Before he enters one of the rooms both outcomes are possible. If there were infinite rooms infinite outcomes are coming out.

Did Bunuel make a film about some people in a room being in danger, and when any of them tried to leave they were unable to? The final scenes were in and near a Catholic church.

I liked it.

If I find out its name I might rent it again.

...

He did. Wikipedia says its title is The Exterminating Angel.

I just bought the Criterion version since earlier ones, on VHS, were almost impossible to watch. Criterion is great for foreign films because they redo bad subtitles, the ones with white over a black and white picture. You could hardly read them, and although I speak some Spanish, it is not good enough to watch a movie. Yes, it was definitely El Angel Extermador that you saw. This is surely his best work done during his "Mexican period," when he worked in Mexico as an exile from Franco Spain. (Franco's people were largely responsible for the assassination of his friend (or friend of a friend) Garcia Lorca. Bunuel thought it impossible to work in Spain during the Franco years, and he inevitably would have run afoul of the fascists. The amusing part of this movie is that when they arrive at the host's house after a concert, the guests are the picture of high society, but as the days wear on and they are mysteriously unable to leave, they turn into savages. That, plus all of those (ecclesiastical?) lambs wandering in and out of wardrobes and other parts of the mansion.

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