Metro Choice: Obscure objects of desire

His early films caused riots on the streets of Paris in the Thirties. His penultimate work earned him the Best Foreign Film Oscar 40 years later. Somewhere in between, Luis Bunuel's reputation as a master surrealist film-maker was cemented, intert wined though it was with legendary tales of scandal and censorship. They were all true, of course - how the FBI opened a file on him, and how Spain, his home country, took the extreme measure of banning all his work when it was scandalised by Viridiana ( 1961,above). This film is just one of 10 movies resurrected this week at the Barbican in a season that will also showcase lesser-seen works like the oppressive, slyly funny The Exterminating Angel, and the spaced-out short Simon of the Desert. Everyone remembers the anecdotes - his foot fetishism, his on-off friendship with Salvador Dali, his bizarre, alienating work processes. "The imagination is a muscle," Bunuel said. "It needs to be exercised." Prepare to make your grey matter sweat.

The Bunuel Collection, from today at the Barbican Cinema, Silk St, EC2 (071-638 8891)

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