Un Chien Andalou (1929)
Genre: Silent Experimental Fantasy Short (Fance)
Starring: Simone Mareuil, Pierre Batcheff (Napoleon; Baroud)
Directed By: Louis Bunuel (Belle Du Jour; The Exterminating Angel) Salvador Dali too, 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.
Acting: 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 Maya Deren and The Life and Death of 9413, A Hollywood Extra.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.