Few films have aged as well as the nearly 90 year old film Un Chien Andalou (1929) directed by Luis Buñuel. Patrik Eklund, who was one of our main guests last edition at our festival, chose this film among other of his favorite films to be screened as part of his carte-blanche program. This week this surrealistic art film is our focus in this Short Shot blogpost.
Ants crawling out of a hole in a man’s hand, a dead donkey inside a piano, an eye that gets sliced open. These are only some of the examples of images that you get to see, while watching Un Chien Andalou (1929). At times it has a violent tone, at times it has a slightly sexual tone, but above all the film has a dreamy quality. It is a film that is a little otherworldly in the best sense possible, leaving behind logics of everyday life. It is, as our festival catalog read, “a mysterious film open to interpretations ranging from deep to it all meaning absolutely nothing.” Luis Buñuel’s purpose of this film was exactly that, creating a film that reacted against dominant film norms that everything should have a meaning. Asked once about the one rule that was central in writting and putting together Un Chien Andalou (1929) Luis Buñuel said:
The rule was refuse any image that could have a rational meaning or any memory or culture. That meant any image that appeared to us that we considered or impressed us, was accepted.
Together with famous surrealist painter Salvador Dalí Luis wrote the film in just seven days. Un Chien Andalou (1929) was Luis Buñuel’s debut as a film director and what an impressive debut it still is. He went on to have a career directing multiple masterpieces, like Belle de Jour (1967) and the Oscar ® nominated Cet obscur objet du désir (1977). The surrealistic style of Un Chien Andalou (1929) was hugely inspirational for Alfred Hitchcock and maybe even more so for famous director David Lynch, who made several references to Un Chien Andalou (1929) in his film Blue Velvet (1986). Hopefully Un Chien Andalou (1929) is figuratively an eye-opener for you as well!