32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Mesmerizing Surrealistic Short,
This review is from: Un Chien Andalou (DVD)
Luis Bunuel made his directorial debut with 1929's "Un Chien Andalou" -- a 17 minute short film. The film was made in collaboration with the great surrealistic artist, Salvador Dali; this pairing was repeated for the 1930 masterpiece "L'Age D'Or." Viewing the first tentative steps of two giants is obviously fascinating, which is enough to recommend "Un Chien Andalou."
As with other great surrealistic films, the plot, such as it is, does not make any sense. Of course, themes can be derived from the work, although surrealism essentially is meant to be non-thematic. Some of the images from "Un Chien Andalou" are shocking and justifiably famous -- most notably a scene depicting a straight razor slicing into a woman's eyeball. Yes, these scenes are somewhat disgusting but also amazing for a film over 75 years old.
The film has not been updated or cleaned up at all, so the DVD image is somewhat murky. Bunuel added a music track in 1960 to what was originally a silent film; the score works beautifully. The DVD extras include an interview with Bunuel's son in which he discusses "Un Chien Andalou" as well as his father's rather tumultuous relationship with Dali. An audio commentary by Spanish surrealism expert Stephen Barber is also included; unfortunately, this track is pretty much unlistenable as Barber drones on about the history of surrealism in a deadly dull manner. Skip the audio commentary and just enjoy Bunuel's work as is.