Following their classic experimental and surrealist short film, Un chien andalou, directors Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí came together to create a deliriously surreal journey, starting with a wry documentary on scorpions and exploding into a tale of thwarted love.
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A masterpiece of subversive free association and absurdist imagery. Apparently, when the film was premiered on Dec 3rd 1930 at Studio 28 – members of the Fascist League of Patriots hurled ink at the screen and attacked the audience – a newspaper called it ‘the new poison that Judaism and Masonry want to use in order to corrupt the people’ – and was out of distribution for 50 years. Another reason to love it then!
A relic of its times somehow deemed classic cinema and therefore revered by the film intelligentsia simply for its previous incarnation as dangerous banned cinema and its surrealistic nature. A product of an agent provocateur that is still applying its sting.
Getting to watch this one for free is an absolute blessing. That is if you can get into the flow of the narrative, which is easy once you see how randomly and forcefully Gaston Modot is separated from his lover. From there, mannered society decides in earnest to keep them apart, but they find a way around it. Awesome imagery towards the end, and I loved Modot's random slap to the face. And don't forget the fist.
I prefer the second half for some reason. The message is clear, and it is augmented by a thousand with the presence of surrealism. There are some images that will always be memorable, but I feel it is weaker than the more-concise Un Chien Andalou. The images leave a stronger impression and achieve a better effect in Un Chien.
dali and bunuel really are quite a pair. this film is bonkers, a perfect realisation of the absurd and the dream world. i adore the manifestation of dali's influence and think bunuel is never as good without him. the foot fetish appearance was hilarious, and the tone of this film was both light and absurd. this early french period is the best work that bunuel ever made. and this one is fascinating but flawed.
Early surrealist effort from Luis Bunuel is a disappointment. With films like this, it's hard to say why some work and some don't, but this one doesn't. There are a handful of interesting moments and images scattered throughout the tediousness, but not quite enough to make with worth the time.