The fallout must've been severe, because Buñuel went on to make the arresting quasi-doc Land without Bread/Las Hurdes (1933; June 19 @ 7 pm), and then vanished, landing after the war in Mexico. Then, with 13 years spent establishing his post-Surrealist voice in that penny arcade of a national cinema, he returned to Franco-ruled, censorship-crazed Spain and made, characteristically, the most incendiary feature of his mature career. Viridiana (1961; June 18 @ 7 pm) is no less than a schematic attack on Catholic piety, with Silvia Pinal's sugar-spun nun returning to her uncle's estate only to have the old lech (Fernando Rey) drug her and lie about raping her so as to corner the traumatized virgin into marriage. From there, it's suicide, betrayal, and a catastrophic experiment in philanthropy, as still-devout Viridiana transforms the estate into a hostel for the homeless, who gleefully turn on her like plague rats. Buñuel enjoyed viewing Christianity as a fat whore at which to throw rotten fruit (famously mocking the Last Supper), but Viridiana is also a claw-hammered critique of liberal aristos, responsible for constructing a society that creates a beggar class and then "doing good" through fits of unwelcome charity. The film was banned in Spain, condemned by the Vatican, and awarded top prize at Cannes.
Luis was back in black. Returning to Mexico, he made his strangest film in 30 years: The Exterminating Angel (1962; June 24 @ 7 pm), a magisterial farce in which a large coterie of upper-class dinner-partiers find they cannot leave the dining room, for months — a dream dynamic the filmmaker turned inside out a decade later with The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972; June 24 @ 9 pm). An Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, in it six French friends attempt to sit down to dinner and find they cannot — ever. Arguably the most beautifully conceived and sublime diptych in film history, these two masterpieces alone would've established Buñuel as a giant.
Simon of the Desert (1965; June 19 @ 7 pm) was Buñuel's last Mexican hayride, in which a self-styled ascetic "saint" (Buñuel staple and Mexican institution Claudio Brook) lives atop an enormous pillar in order to demonstrate his selflessness and devotion to God. Unfortunately for Simon, the local peasants and clergy won't leave him be; recognizing his holiness, they demand sacraments, and with each confrontation Simon's piety withers before the vicious narcissism of his fellow man.
Eventually, of course, the Devil shows up, in the form of luscious Silvia Pinal, landing Simon in a contemporary nightclub where his brand of monasticism has no meaning whatsoever. Famously an unfinished film, the victim of an empty-pocketed producer, it's still an undiluted Buñuel morsel worth its weight in caviar.
Bearing by now six awards from Cannes and Venice, Buñuel settled in Paris; and, in his mature phase — unshackled by censor boards and Catholic officials — he blossomed. Diary of a Chambermaid (1965; 26 @ 7 pm), from the Octave Mirbeau novel adapted by Jean Renoir in 1946, sets the tone, roaming through a ritzy manor in which Jeanne Moreau's legs, footware, and maid's uniform are a constant source of angst and swoon. The moviemaking is as besotted as the men around her, giving Moreau's accouterments a bogus mystical aura that's just as funny as family son Michel Piccoli's high-strung case of blue balls. Belle de Jour (1967; 25 @ 7 pm) deliciously toys with Catherine Deneuve's frigid-wife sexual fantasies (the mud!); The Milky Way (1969; June 20 @ 7 pm) follows two pilgrimage tramps through a litany of heretical scenarios and blackout skits.