Un Chien Andalou (1929)

DVD Cover (Transflux Films)
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Overall Rating 77%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,764
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Simone Mareuil
Simone Mareuil
Pierre Batcheff
Pierre Batcheff
Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Robert Hommet
Robert Hommet
Review by Tristan
Added: September 13, 2007
Clocking in at just 15 minutes, this short film is not only quite gruesome - containing one of the most controversial scenes in film history- it managed to confuse the hell out of me, and required several viewings until I could finally grasp what was going on. The film has no real plot; just a bundle of scenes that don't tie in to one another, and the end result is one of the finest French Surrealist films.

Once upon a time, a man(played by none other than Bunuel himself) is sharpening a straight razor, and proceeds to slice a lady's eye open. End scene. Eight years later--but not really--a man(Pierre Batcheff) falls off his bike in the street and has ants pouring out of a hole in his hand. Then a blind woman pokes at a severed hand on the street before she is run over by a car. Afterwards, the man is called inside by a woman(Simone Mareuil) watching from her window. After groping this woman and fantasizing about her with no clothes on until she breaks free, the man chases her into a corner where she pulls her tennis rackets off the wall, threatening him with them. His only natural reaction is to start dragging her pianos across the floor with a dead horse on each one. If that wasn't strange enough, there are two priests also tied up in the ropes being dragged across the floor. The man's father then comes into the room and is shot when two books turn into pistols in his son's hands. In the end, the woman leaves her apartment to find one of the priests on the beach, and walk off into the sunset together. The next spring, they are discovered buried in the sand up to their waists, and looking very dead.

So there you have it, one of the strangest movies I've ever seen. For you Lynch fans out there, this is far more bizarre and twisted then even he could ever hope to be. I don't know much about silent film, and I'm certainly no expert on these kinds of movies, but I must say that I enjoyed it, and found it very entertaining. At the very least it's a complete mind-fuck of a movie, set to some very pleasant music. One of the neatest scenes, in this or any movie, was the slicing of the eye. The shot preceding it is of a thin cloud, passing over the moon, much like the razor through the eye. Doesn't sound like much, but it's very effective for this particular scene. I'm sure there's more much to this movie, below the surface. I'm just not clever enough to figure it out. Aside from the few times I watched it for the review's sake, I'm not sure how often I'll ever see it again.

bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 09/13/2007, 06:30 PM
I remember seeing this when I first started getting really serious about film, when I was around ten or so. I thought it was just plain stupid back then, but have grown to appreciate it. This is, hands down, the sole inspiration for the video in "The Ring" and you can see its influence on David Lynch's work somewhat, but Lynch doesn't borrow from this style as much as he borrows from German expressionism in the purest form. The scene with the eyeball is still very jarring, but what I find most fascinating is the less 'shocking' material in the film. Salvador Dali was a very strange men who did many strange things and his story is a very comic and tragic one, and I am thrilled that Al Pacino will be portraying him in the new biopic. 10/10 for being a cinematic milestone.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 09/13/2007, 06:34 PM
I just read about that today. Cillian Murphy just joined the cast.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 09/13/2007, 06:44 PM
Sounds very interesting. Pacino is an interesting choice for Dali.
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