Date Night Double Feature #3: Ladies of the Night

This week we bring you a double feature from two of cinema’s most influential filmmakers: Luis Buñuel and Federico Fellini. Both of these filmmakers are known for using fantasy and surrealism as a vessel for social commentary. Fellini, using his own dreams and life experiences, had a self-referential approach, while Buñuel directed his commentary outward towards the Catholic Church and class systems. Although these auteurs are stylistically very different, both provide audiences with a world that blurs the lines between dreams and reality, giving viewers a compelling cinematic experience.  

Belle de Jour (1967) – Dir Luis Buñuel

One of the surrealist’s most famous films, Belle de Jour is the story of unhappy housewife who turns to prostitution to cure her frigidity. Starring Catherine Deneuve as Séverine Serizy, the spouse of a wealthy surgeon, the film provides criticism of the bourgeoisie’s relentless dissatisfaction with their privilege lives. Available on Amazon Prime Video

Nights of Cabiria (1957) - Dir Federico Fellini             

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Nights of Cabiria is the whimsical and tragic story of a prostitute’s unfruitful search for love. Winning the Best Actress Award at Cannes Film Festival, Giulietta Masina’s performance carries viewers through Cabiria’s outlandish experiences as a ‘working girl’ with her signature expressionistic acting, providing audiences with the feeling that being a prostitute is in some ways like being in the circus. Available on Prime Video

-Dawn Stronski