- A Slice of Bunuel: Exclusive interview/documentary with Bunuel's son Juan-Luis
- Epilogue: Dali and Bunuel bonus interview
- Audio Commentary by Spanish surrealism expert Stephen Barber
- Mystery of Cinema: Abridged transcipt of Bunuel speech given in 1953
- Dave McKean: Graphic design and statement
Un Chien Andalou
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Filmed in Paris in 1929, UN CHIEN ANDALOU is regarded as the first film produced purely from within the Surrealist movement and is a landmark in the history of cinema. Loving treatment to DVD includes, as bonus material, an interview/documentary with Jua
Un Chien Andalou remains a startling artifact suggesting ways in which film can express the subconscious. The result of Luis Bunuel's collaboration with Salvador Dali, the 17-minute, 1929 film was designed expressly to shock and provoke. Opening with the canonical eyeball-slashing sequence and divided into baffling "chapters", this is a work of art obsessed with religion, lust, decay, violence, and death. Un Chien Andalou isn't simply one of the great works of the surrealist movement, but a segment of cinematic DNA that irrevocably altered the aesthetics of film. In its tangled corridors you find the seeds to the disappearing-mouth bit in The Matrix, the carcasses strewn through Peter Greenaway's A Zed and Two Noughts and pretty much the entire oeuvre of David Lynch. --Ryan BoudinotSee all Editorial Reviews
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When Bunuel and Dali set about "writing the script" for UCA they could not have predicted the LASTING impact it would enjoy. Even today it's difficult to sit through many scenes from this master work... without immediately looking away.
The only gripe which comes to mind is the damage transferred to dvd. But it's a small compromise I've come to accept as a fan of past music and film... art, general. The only reason I mention it, here, is due to fact some of the transferred damage may have been digitally corrected. But, then again, Bunuel/Dali would have loved to know it irked me... as to offend/challenge was a big part of the reason they put this film together. I'm sure they're dancing in the afterlife as I type this.
Luis Buñuel directed Un Chien Andalou with the help of Salvador Dali, which presents a number of erratic cerebral impulses with no logical explanation. Each scene and each action have no connection with one another, as all the cinematic moments merely exist in front of the camera that captures the moment. The visuals converge through 24 frames per second that land on the retina, which transmit a number of images to the brain where images diverge. For example, Buñuel's creation presents a notion of observing a bouquet of orchids while the orchids actually are conjoint letters of masculinity, or maybe it was the seashore. In a sense, Buñuel artificially forms cognitive dissonance through pairing up situations and oddities that evoke an internal alarm of something unsound.
Buñuel's 15-minute film opens with the infamous scene where a man sharpens a razor, which the man later uses to cut through a cornea, iris, and pupil as the audience gets to witness an eye's lens and insides gush through the cut. At the time of the release, Un Chien Andalou was breaking new ground for cinema and art, and still to this day, the eyeball scene evokes disgust and revulsion. Yet, it offers an artistic expression of the political climate of the society in which Buñuel lived.
Before the shooting of each scene, Buñuel and Dali agreed on the idea that each scene should not reveal anything in regards to rational thought. In other words, if it made sense it did not belong in the film. This is further evolved as there are dreamlike scenes where a man is pulling two priests that are tied to two pianos that have dead donkeys resting on top of the pianos. Then there is a scene with a hand that has a hole in the middle where ants are crawling out. Dali and Buñuel, two upcoming artists, used their artistic expression to vent their discontent with society in a scandalous ways, which Buñuel mentions in his autobiography.
On the eve of the premier Buñuel prepared himself with stones in his hands while anticipating the audience's reaction. Some suggests that Buñuel thought of bringing the stones after having seen Sergei Eisenstein's masterpiece Battleship Potemkin. Nonetheless, it offers further expression of Buñuel's discontent with society, which he fought through his surrealistic expression in his film.
Un Chien Andalou offers a cinematic experience like no other. The film tears the audience in different directions through every scene. The audience strives to find a reason behind the madness, and it is almost as if the viewer can hear Buñuel's and Dali's laughter in a distance while trying to find the non-existing logic. In the many attempts, some proclaim to have found some logic in the film, yet the filmmakers scoff at these attempts. However, art is art, and with art there is an intrinsic need for artistic freedom that desires to express whatever one desires, so maybe the scoffing and laughter is wrong. Maybe one should let the eye of the beholder have the freedom to express their notions of an idea as the idea evolves into another notion. In the end, Buñuel's surreal impression leaves the audience with haunting images, or a lot and nothing, yet it is the viewer who fully, and only, understands what is presented.
I love this movie because its as inexplicable as people's dreams. Your (or at least my) dreams are often strewn bits of random images that somehow make sense while you are dreaming, that give an overall feeling of what's happening, but try to explain it in once you wake up and one can find themselves at a loss for words. But Dali knew exactly how to visually tell the story of something as random as our dreams.