Viridianais the brilliant transitional film that came between Luis Bunuel s Mexican period and his later European masterpieces The film introduces a theme that would haunt Bunuel s later films the abject desire of an older man Don Jaime, played by Fernando Rey for a young, pure, beautiful woman Viridiana, played by Silvia Pinal In elaborating his theme Bunuel expounds on all his signature concerns his abhorrence of Catholicism, his complicated delight in lechery and perversity, and his fierce satirical idealism For Gary Indiana, Bunuel is the greatest of all film directors Indiana analyzes all the component elements of Viridiana as well as its moments of special intensity But each discussion of a shot, an actor, a symbol, or a dramatic effect leads to further analysis of some wider aspect of Bunuel s filmmaking Dissecting and elucidating Viridiana as he goes, Indiana also moves backward and forward through this maverick director s career to create portraits both of a pivotal film and one of the foremost twentieth century artists

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