Now I am not an atheist, but I love a film that gives religion a good skewering and Buñuel is the master of doing just that. With this short film he takes us to the desert a few centuries after the death of Christ where we find Simon (Claudio Brook), a man who has become holy by standing on a pillar. Things were going good for him until after 6 years, 6 months, and 6 days he is offered and new, taller, and better pillar to stand on by a rich man who Simon cured of a disease.
Soon the devil (Silvia Pinal) is there to tempt him.
After several unsuccessful attempts to lure Simon off the pillar she finally tells him, “I’m taking you to the sabbath. There you’ll see tongues of flame and the gaping red wounds of the flesh.” They go to New York in the 1960’s. Simon asks what kind of dance the kids are doing and she says, “It’s ‘Radioactive Flesh’, it’s the latest and the last.” Simon then asks if he can go back to his pillar, but she tells him if he did that he would be in for quite a shock because he’s been replaced. She says, “You’ll have to stick it out till the end.”
This film always makes me laugh. I highly recommend it.