Chien Andalou, Un (1929) * Weird & Wacky *

 

The sharper the razor, the less the eyeball slashings hurt, it's true. She can hardly feel it, I SWEAR.
The sharper the razor, the less the eyeball slashings hurt, it's true. She can hardly feel it, I SWEAR.

Genre: Silent Avant-Garde Short (France)

Starring: Simone Mareuil, Pierre Batcheff (Napoleon; Baroud)

Directed By: Luis Buñuel (Belle Du Jour; The Exterminating Angel), Salvador Dali, Surrealist Painter Extraordinaire.

Overview: This 16 minute Surrealist short is a collection of graphic nightmarish images interposed with those of sexuality. This short film is considered one of the great surrealist film classics.

Performance:

The woman getting her eye sliced open at the very beginning seems to take it rather well... the man who gropes her and drools blood also seems quite ghoulish as he does so. I never thought it would be so hard to gauge acting, even with Experimental. I guess I'll cram this between and Maya Deren and The Life and Death of 9413, A Hollywood Extra.
Rating: 7

Cinematography:

Yes, Salvador Dali had a major part in creating this surreal vision that is this haunting film. The very last still shot, is classic Dali, it looks like it should have been (or perhaps even WAS) painted onto a canvas. Some of these images were graphic and intricate, but most of this, unfortunately did not seem to be filmed with enough effort. Sadly, I've seen much better Experimental nonsensical film than this.
Rating: 6

Script:

Eesh, not only is it Experimental, and Surrealist, AND Silent, but the only script was "Eight years later", "Three A.M." and "Sixteen years earlier". Actually, you know what? The people I was with were more confused with the words than with anything else they tried to make sense of. For non-sequitors that put us out of time on purpose, this gets top marks. Nice touch, making the left brain fight with the right. I'll remember that...
Rating: 8

Plot:

This short attempts no explanation, excuses no image, and the only thing I figured out along the way is there's an undercurrent of love sex, rot and death. Surrealist film tends not to have a story, and when it does, it might even be comical or a study of madness. This is neither of those things. It is simple nothingness, which is the point. Making sense of something generally goes against surrealism. For going there without a safety net, this gets points.
Rating: 8

Mood:

Surrealism isn't for everyone. Graphic and lewd, the moments that suck you in are the first scene, the last scene and a few dramatic moments in between. When a film begins on such a high note and takes its time to bring you to that apex again, you might find the middle parts as boring filler. Honestly, watching a couple walk down the beach for a minute out of sixteen, just kinda kills the mood.

People love Dali's art, I suppose it's because it makes sense. "Yeah that's a melting clock, it's really hot outside", or "yeah that's a room and it's also a woman's face", I get it. This was made in his earliest days, before those classic images were painted (he was 24). This is not like those.
Rating: 6

Believe it or not I can explain this one: in French 'Ants in the Palms' means you're itching to murder.
Believe it or not I can explain this one: in French 'Ants in the Palms' means you're itching to murder.

Overall Rating: 70% (*Confused Look That Dogs Give You*)
Aftertaste:

Godhood telephone attack distinguish vagina tremble masking detour violence coffee-stain rube procedure message wife time. Recycle invasion Cletus. Fusion pins clip unearth Gina. Meridian edge outcrop equator return ellipse globe.

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Squish you seem very intelligent and up on your movie knowledge! I am always interested in film debate and analysis, I appriciate your work on this site. However, I believe your being too cavalier with this movie. It is a huge event in history. The first movie to challange and alienate an audience instead of trying to pander to its desires. The first to explore random flashes of imagry as forms of communication. The first to throw away a plot for the experience of forcing emotions on its audience. the first surrealist film ever made, and you can clearly see its impact in cinema has been strong ever since. Upon first release in 1928 it was considered extremely shocking and intense. Ever since artists have been building more and more outlandish films from Un Chien Andalou's beginning base. You may not be overly stimulated by this perticulour film but it must have its proper due. I am no big fan of Policks work but I respect his place and necesity in art history. In order to opriciate surreal film you must first study its origins. To casually say you've seen better dosen't take in the amazing achivement Dali or Bunuel made.
    Thanx for your ear.


The only emotions I felt were confusion and disgust...if that makes a good film I better go re-review Foolish Wives! I can't respect this kind of film, especially if the whole point is to spit in the audience's face. Generally, I don't say "Thank You, that was a masterpiece" when someone does that.


hello all

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