Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
Luis Buñuel's "Tristana" is a haunting study of a human relationship in which the power changes hands. Power over human lives is a lifelong theme of Buñuel, that most sadomasochistic of directors, and "Tristana" is his most explicit study of the subject. Not his best, but his most explicit.
Consider. Don Lope, a feisty middle-aged intellectual and atheist, sees his chance when the beautiful young Tristana (Catherine Deneuve) is orphaned. As the girl's guardian, he takes her into his household and (in what seems like no time at all) into his bed. While ravishing her, he excuses himself by rationalizing that she'd fare worse on the streets.
The girl is repelled by the old man's sexual advances, and that provides the key to her character later in the film. She falls in love with a handsome young artist who eventually takes her away and marries her. But then she develops a tumor and her leg must be amputated; she decides to leave the artist and come back again to Don Lope's household.
All that's gone before has been preparation for what happens now, as Tristana has revenge on the man who took her virginity. He is older now, weaker, and has been reduced to playing cards with priests. He does it not because he's lost his atheism, but because he craves their company (and they humor him with an eye to gaining his inheritance for the church). Tristana becomes the dominant personality in the household.