Saturday, 21 February 2015

The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Short Film - Un Chien Andalou (1929) - Luis Bunuel

Luis Bunuel’s 1929 collaboration with Salvador Dali, Un Chien Andalou, is one of the most famous of silent shorts and, with all the surrealist qualities, still has the power to shock and provoke. Absent of narrative and inspired by a series of dreams the two had, there’s more legitimately iconic symbolism in this sixteen-minute short than many filmmakers are able to achieve in an entire lifetime (Bunuel and Dali were both in their twenties, yet to reach their respective creative peaks). Imagery such the razor across the eye, the nude woman, ants emerging from a hand, the death’s-head moth and the man dragging two pianos (containing dead donkeys and stone tables of the Ten Commandments) with two priests attached by ropes, for all their stark clarity, is played as a blank canvas completely open for interpretation. Deliberately designed to antagonize the intellectuals and bourgeoisie of its day, I believe that a similarly bizzare reception (ironically, to Bunuel’s dismay, his “avantgarde cine” targets embraced the picture) would meet any screening of Un Chien Andalou. 

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