by guest writer
The Great Madcap (El gran calavera) is the first movie of this month dedicated to the Spanish master Luis Buñuel. Sometime in the ’60s Alfred Hitchcock was asked who his favourite director was. His reply was simple: Luis Buñuel. Why? Simply because the films that he made were unique in every way. From starting out the surrealist movement in cinema at the end of the ’20s, to his comedies, melodramas and musicals, Buñuel did it all very well in his original manner, praised by movie lovers and critics alike.
Among his many Mexican-period films, El gran calavera was produced on a small budget and nowadays has become enjoyed and praised by connoisseurs. The plot is built up around a millionaire’s life. Sick of everybody cheating him (including and especially his family), Ramiro de la Mata (Fernando Soler) is drawn unwillingly into a conspiracy intended to teach him and his family a precious lesson in life. Buñuel uses an unromantic approach to mock both the Mexican lifestyle and the Hollywood structures. He succeeds in reaching his purpose with his creativity and non-conformist way. A comedy unlike any you’ve seen before, El gran calavera remains one of the rarest gems of its kind.