David Marc Fischer
December 03, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Banned in France for decades, this surrealist triumph by auteur Luis Buñuel is still provocative — its conflation of Christian imagery with the work of the Marquis de Sade continues to carry a sting. Yet this essential art film (with contributions from Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, and Paul Éluard) is richly humorous, too: Amid the skeletons and scorpions, Modot pursues leading lady Lys like a frisky French forebear of John Cleese. Regrettably, the EXTRAS on L’Age D’Or leave much to be desired: The ”Stills Gallery” and ”Luis Buñuel Filmography” come across as tokens, and the sporadic commentary from academician Robert Short is more of a displaced scholarly treatise than a well-integrated DVD feature. So even though this landmark film merits an A, the rest of the package merely rates a C.

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