Chien Andalou

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Movie Review by Almiro Jorge

Starring: Lee Miller, Pierre Batcheff, Simone Maruil, Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali
Directors: Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali

Art or abhorrent?

The gross introduction to the film immediately tells us to “look” at this differently, through another eye, as such. In perfect montage to a cloud spoiling the glow of the full moon (Jean Vigo), the sickening image of a barber-knife cutting through an eyeball creates an emotion in the viewer that stays throughout the film.

A transvestite peddling down the street, a crowd of people surround a hand that has been severed, ants emerging from a hole in a man’s hand, dead mules on pianos; these are the images portrayed in UN CHIEN ANDALOU and, just like the title, they are totally illogical. There is simply no rationale to the sequence of events although we try to link them in anyway, for this reason the film has become a phenomenon to surrealists.

In conjunction with Salvador Dali, Bunuel created this film with solely one purpose in mind – to shock the audiences. Although the shock value has been somewhat weakened by time, some of the images still cling to your mind.

The fact that Bunuel respects the principles of orthodox filmmaking in this shocking and bizarre film makes it a film worth watching. Great photography and continuity create some sort of reason out of this otherwise nonsensical collage of living nightmares.

Seventeen minutes that will keep you talking long after you have left the movie theatre. I do not recommend this film to the faint-hearted but it is a must for art lovers.

5 out of 6 stars