In fact, the eyeballs of yours truly were very grateful.
Luis Buñuel has always been one of my favorite directors, and I was very happy to see a movie of his that I hadn't seen, 1954's The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, on TV the other day. I was curious about his treatment of the classic Daniel Defoe tale, as the other Buñuel films I've enjoyed all have featured the director's famous surrealist visuals and anticlerical dialogue.
I wasn't too surprised to find that I enjoyed Crusoe just as much. The reason: Buñuel was a great director. And most great directors can work with a broad range of subjects.
Not that surrealism was entirely absent from the film. A bizarre dream sequence involving the the titular marooned character (played poignantly by Dan O'Herlihy) and some startling imagery--including a scene in which the famished Crusoe cracks open an egg to find a live bird inside--peppered the movie, which otherwise flowed much like a well-made Hollywood treatment. Buñuel has always been great at telling a story, a trait that I feel is often overlooked, and his adaptation is typically involving...even exciting and moving.
I'm now interested in seeing his version of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, a book I've always loved. It's another film of Buñuel's that I haven't yet seen; I somehow think I'm about to open a treasure chest like one of those found in Crusoe's ship.