Luis Buñuel: The Essential Collection | Blu-ray release – Seven must-sees world cinema classics

StudioCanal celebrates the work of the Spanish surrealist director Luis Buñuel with an Essential Collection box set featuring re-issues of seven of the director’s most significant films on Blu-ray.

Diary of a Chambermaid (1964)

This biting satire of a middle-class French family in 1939 is drawn from Octave Mirbeau’s infamous novel and was an ideal subject for Buñuel’s particular incisive talents. Jeanne Moreau plays Celestine, a Parisian chambermaid who ingrains herself in a scandal with her philandering employer (Michel Piccoli). Extras include a documentary and an interview with writer Jean-Claude Carriere. In French.

Belle de Jour (1967) The 50th Anniversary Edition | 4k Restoration A surrealistic voyage into the mind of a bored, wealthy housewife (Catherine Deneuve), who leads the double life of afternoon prostitution. This exquisite and spellbinding film won the Best Picture award at the 1976 Venice Film Festival. Extras include interviews with writer Jean-Claude Carriere, director Diego Buñuel and Dr Sylvain Mimoun, commentary by professor Peter W Evans, and a trailer. In French.

The Milky Way (1969) The pilgrimage from Paris to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain of two French vagrants is interrupted by a series of bizarre encounters in this witty, metaphysical romp which became the first film in the director’s trilogy about ‘the search for truth’ (which was followed by The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Phantom of Liberty). Extras include a documentary, an interview with writer Jean-Claude Carriere, analysis by Peter W Evans and a trailer. In French.

Tristana (1970) In 1929 Toledo, innocent and devout orphan Tristana (Catherine Deneuve) goes to live with her guardian, Don Lope (Fernando Rey), whose fatherly affection turns to desire. But then Tristana falls for the charms of a young artist (Franco Nero). A mischievous mix of passion, social satire and black comedy, this is one of Buñuel's most enjoyable films, and contains compelling performances from both Rey and Deneuve. Extras include an interview with Franco Nero, a documentary and a trailer.  In French, and also in Spanish.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Winner of the 1972 Best Foreign Film Oscar, Buñuel’s sly, subversive satire is his surreal masterpiece. Again the director blurs the lines between dreams and realities in this wickedly funny puzzle box in which six middle-class characters try to dine together, but fate intervenes… Extras include an interview with writer Jean-Claude Carriere, analysis by Peter W Evans, a documentary and a trailer. In French and Spanish.

The Phantom of Liberty (1974) It’s impossible to describe the plot of this absurdist comedy, as it there isn’t one! It all begins with Napoleon’s invasion of Spain and ends with a revolution in the zoo: and the succession of surreal incidents in between make this the most anarchically funny of Buñuel's canon. It's most notorious scene features an elegant soiree with guests seated at toilet bowls… Extras include an interview with writer Jean-Claude Carriere, analysis by Peter W Evans, a documentary and a photo gallery. In French.

That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) Buñuel’s final film, which earned him the Best Foreign Film Oscar, is a rich, blackly comic, study in sexual obsession and politics. Fernando Rey is perfectly cast as middle-aged bourgeois businessman Mathieu, who becomes tortured by his desire for elusive maid, Conchita, played by two actresses, Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina. Extras include interviews with writer Jean-Claude Carriere, Diego Buñuel, Carlos Saura, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina, Pierre Lady and Edmond Richard. In French and Spanish.