it must be close to the best short of all time. so many symbols, metaphors and example of cinematic poetry in one film. the manifestations of dali's subconscious makes this film something a step above too. the scenes make no sense, and the film is bonkers a box of crackers but its good value for its running time. hilarious, absurd and also significant in the things it has to say about religion and social norms.
It's important to look at this film through the tenants of surrealist thought and try our hardest to escape our narrow realist lens. If what you are looking for is a piece of art truest to life you're definitely in the wrong spot, or for a complete absurd and meaningless account of our existence, again in the wrong spot. In terms of evoking a catharsis similar to that of a dream through psychic automatism, spot on.
This is a bombshell against all cinematic conventions, moral ideals and linearity expectations. There is no key to unlock the riddles of this short compendium of deepest fears and desires. Pleasures abound though as the spring of the expected reconciliation of lovers (and viewers) ends up buried in the sand as if a victim of some tribal anthrophagous ritual. The 'ants in the hand' shot is one cinema's great icons.
For most short films, I feel that there is always a sense of inconclusiveness; that there is no plot. With this film, however, the surrealism removes this problems. With no actual plot and, more interestingly, no narrative. The many images are haunting and dreamlike. Only one's subconscious seems capable of inventing such moments.