Tuesday, January 1, 2013

An Andalusian Dog

Un Chien Andalou; silent short art-film, France, 1929; D: Louis Buñuel; S: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil

A barber takes a blade and slices the eye of a woman who is watching the Moon...The same woman is sitting in her living room and spots a man falling from a bicycle on the street...Police and people observe a severed hand lying on the street...After a car runs over a woman on the street, a man from the window starts touching his girlfriend's breasts and then dragging a dead donkey on a piano with a rope...A man dies in the meadow and his body is carried away...The woman and the man walk by the beach, until some time later they are found dead, half-buried in the sand.

Considered by numerous critics to be the first surreal film in cinema, director Louis Bunuel's collaboration with painter Salvador Dali resulted in the expressionistic 17 minute short "An Andalusian Dog" that encompassed several aspects of the French avant-garde. The significance of the film is that is deliberately threw away all cinematic and logical rules and was crafted as just purely experimental movie where, as Dali himself said, "no image has any meaning and no interpretation would be accepted", dwelling somewhere between psychoanalysis and the subconscious, yet numerous images do end up in the nightmare territory, such as the infamous one where a blade slice the eye watching the Moon or a man without a mouth, which does tend to be repulsive. Today, when surrealism is not that actual anymore, "Andalusian Dog" is more relevant for the history of cinema in sofar that it showed that a movie can do what ever it wants, be an 'anti-movie' even, than as some all-time classic that can be enjoyed by everyone, since it is difficult for the viewers to find a thread one can attch to, yet the the episodic set-up of events paved the way for experimental cinema (Godard, Vertov...) that thinks 'outside the box' whereas some film analysts even considered that the bizarre tone creates an alternative world that, despite its confusing events, is more honest and free than the conservative, rigid set of rules imposed by the bourgeois world.        


No comments: