Young and the Damned, The

269.THE YOUNG AND THE DAMNED (Los Olvidados) (1950-Mexico). Written and directed by LUIS BUNUEL. With this brilliant work, the legendary Spanish filmmaker returned to international prominence after a virtual absence Of seventeen years. Winner Of the Grand Prize for Direction at Cannes, it is an uncompromisingly horrifying portrait Of poverty, misery and degradation set in the wretched slums surrounding Mexico City. The film focuses on Pedro, a young boy whose mother has no use for him, and who becomes involved with a malevolent gang Of delinquents; and on Jaibo, an older, more hardened youth, who leads Pedro deeper into the world Of crime. Despite Pedro’s sincere attempts to reform, he moves inevitably toward tragedy. Based on BuAuefs painstaking research Into actual case histories, the film appears to be in the realm Of the neorealistic social documents Of the era. But the director who began his career in Un Chien Andalou’fcee cat. #83) by slitting an eyeball proves that he has plenty Of surrealistic tricks up his sleeve. The movie is absolutely overflowing with images that are disturbing for their eroticism, violence or pure irrationality: after a blind man has been brutally beaten, a rooster walks into the frame to stare al him; a legless cripple whose wheeled platform has been overturned by the gang struggles helplessly in the street; absurdly costumed performing dogs are juxtaposed to an extremely unsettling seduction scene; Pedro defiantly throws an egg at us; and it seems to smash against the earners lens. In the movie’s classic scene-Pedro’s nightmareĂ‘feathers float around in slow motion, a bloodied man laughs maniacally, and Pedro’s mother Offers her son a disgusting piece Of raw meat in response lo his hunger. Pauline Kael has called it “the most brilliantly conceived dream to have ever seen in a film.” Whether you see it as penetrating social commentary or subversive surrealist art, this is a movie that has firmly taken its place among the ranks Of the world’s cinematic masterpieces. In Spanish with English subtitles. 79 minutes Drama