When [The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie] had been nominated for an Oscar, four Mexican reporters tracked us down at El Paular, where we were already at work on another project. During lunch, they asked if I thought I was going to win that Oscar.
“Of course,” I replied between bites. “I’ve already paid the twenty-five thousand dollars they wanted. Americans may have their weaknesses, but they do keep their promises.”
A few days later, headlines in Mexico City announced that I’d bought the Oscar. Los Angeles was scandalized; telexes poured in; Silberman flew over in a rage from Paris. I assured him it was all a joke, but it took quite a while for the dust to settle. Ironically, the film did win an Oscar three weeks later.
— Luis Buñuel (above, in disguise, with the Oscar.)
The best part is when she asks him why he takes photos of their room and not the tourist attractions around Memphis. He says “Those other things are in my memory. The hotel rooms and the airports are the things I’ll forget.”
Metastaseis was inspired by the combination of an Einsteinian view of time and Xenakis’ memory of the sounds of warfare, and structured on mathematical ideas by Le Corbusier. Music usually consists of a set of sounds ordered in time; music played backwards is hardly recognizable. Messiaen’s similar observations led to his noted uses of non-retrogradable rhythms; Xenakis wished to reconcile the linear perception of music with a relativistic view of time. In warfare, as Xenakis knew it through his musical ear, no individual bullet being fired could be distinguished among the cacophony, but taken as a whole the sound of “gunfire” was clearly identifiable. The particular sequence of shots was unimportant: the individual guns could have fired in a completely different pattern from the way they actually did, but the sound produced would still have been the same. These ideas combined to form the basis of Metastaseis.