The Criterion Collection DVDs tend to be a bit special and this film is no exception not only featuring a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, and an improved subtitle translation, but a host of extras including an introduction by screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, a video interview with film scholar Ian Christie, the documentary Luis Bunuel: Atheist Thanks to God the original theatrical trailer and a booklet of essays.
I'm due to see the film for the first time before the DVD release on the 21st August, so I'll reserve my comments until then. Meanwhile there's a brief synopsis for this film which was also discussed both in Campbell and Pitts' "The Bible on Film" and Kinnard and Davis's "Divine Images".
The Milky Way (La voie lactee) daringly deconstructs contemporary and traditional views on Catholicism with ribald, rambunctious surreality. Two French beggars, present-day pilgrims en route to Spain's holy city of Santiago de Compostela, serve as Bunuel's narrators for an anticlerical history of heresy, told with absurdity and filled with images that rank among Bunuel's most memorable (stigmatic children, crucified nuns) and hilarious (Jesus considering a good shave). A diabolically entertaining look at the mysteries of fanaticism, The Milky Way remains a hotly debated work from cinema's greatest skeptic.One piece of Jesus Film trivia associated with this film is that Claudio Brook (who plays the bishop in The Milky Way), also played Jesus in the Mexican Jesus Film Jesús, Nuestro Señor which was released at about the same time (and which I'm also due to release shortly.