By Carl R. Green
After an actor is poisoned onstage and the physique disappears, different mysterious occasions recommend that the theater conceals both his ghost or a shrewdpermanent assassin.
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Lillo’s argument seems to privilege the critical tradition – described earlier – that favours the social realist aesthetic over the exposition of the film’s artificiality and stylization. Moreover, Lillo’s argument implicitly rejects the 33 QUEERING BUÑUEL possibility of subjecting Los olvidados to a camp reading by emphasizing how it differs from prior cinematic representations of poverty in aesthetic and ideological terms. Without disagreeing entirely with Lillo’s approach, we can nonetheless trace some continuity between Los olvidados and the emphasis in these other melodramas on the theatricality of cinematic representation.
Buñuel seems to foreground that empty object, which is simultaneously the intimate kernel and foreign body located on the border between opposite terms, by recovering the socially abject that lurks behind the superficial mask of modernity. 68 If we associate the socially abject with the Lacanian Real, Los olvidados thus reveals and uncovers the modern city’s series of defensive strategies of protection or postponement that need to be played out on the border between the inside and outside in order to cover the empty object or to defer the encounter with the Thing.
Franco argues that: Such hybrid figures that resist modernization are ‘delinquents’, a classification as essential to the modern state as ‘delusion’ was to the Inquisition. The delinquent ‘leaves undone’ – that is, he or she does not do what the state demands. 102 Buñuel represents a marginal subject who disturbs identity, system and order without respecting borders, positions and rules. The young anti-hero is thus located at the ‘outer limit’. Hence, Jaibo’s excessive nature transgresses the social taboos that prohibit excess and promote self-preservation.