Sunday, October 30, 2011

Un chien andalou - 1929

Country: France
Language: French (intertitles)
Release Date: 6 June 1929 (France)
Director: Luis Buñuel
Writers: Salvador Dalí (scenario), Luis Buñuel (scenario)
Stars: Pierre Batcheff and Simone Mareuil
Also known as: Un perro andaluz Argentina / Chile / Spain
Den andalusiske hund Denmark / Norway (imdb display title)
Un Chien Andalou UK / USA
Андалузский пёс Russia
Andalúziai kutya Hungary (imdb display title)
Andalousianos skylos Greece (imdb display title)
Andalusialainen koira Finland
Andaluský pes Czech Republic
Den andalusiska Hunden Sweden
Een Andalusische hond Netherlands (informal literal title)
Ein andalusischer Hund Germany
Pies andaluzyjski Poland
Um Cão Andaluz Portugal
Un cane andaluso Italy
Filming Locations:
Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, France; Paris, France; Studios de Billancourt - 50 Quai du Point du Jour, Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France (studio); Ursuline Studios, Paris, France
Runtime: 16 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Donkey | Ant | Moon | Piano | Severed Hand |
Genres: Short | Fantasy
In a dream-like sequence, a woman's eye is slit open--juxtaposed with a similarly shaped cloud obsucuring the moon moving in the same direction as the knife through the eye--to grab the audience's attention. The French phrase "ants in the palms," (which means that someone is "itching" to kill) is shown literally. A man pulls a piano along with the tablets of the Ten Commandments and a dead donkey towards the woman he's itching to kill. A shot of differently striped objects is repeatedly used to connect scenes.
A cow's eye was used in the scene where the woman's eye is slit. The priest being dragged with the piano is Salvador Dalí. In 1960, a soundtrack was added to this film at the direction of Luis Buñuel. He used the same music which was played (using phonograph records) at the 1929 screenings - extracts from "Liebestod" from Richard Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" and two Argentinian tangos. At the Paris premiere, Luis Buñuel hid behind the screen with stones in his pockets for fear of being attacked by the confused audience. Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 25 Most Dangerous Movies". The movie contains several references to Federico García Lorca (who was in love with Salvador Dalí) and other writers of that time. The rotting donkeys are a reference to the novel "Platero y yo" by Juan Ramón Jiménez, which Luis Buñuel and Dalí hated. Luis Buñuel told Salvador Dalí about a dream in which a cloud sliced the moon in half "like a razor blade slicing through an eye". Dalí responded that he'd dreamed about a hand crawling with ants. Out of these two dreams this film was born. During the bicycle scene, the woman who is sitting on a chair, reading, throws the book aside. The image it shows when it lays open is a reproduction of a painting by Vermeer. Vermeer was a Dutch painter greatly admired by Salvador Dalí, and whom Dalí referenced often in his own paintings. After editing the film, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí didn't know what to do with it. An acquaintance introduced Buñuel to Man Ray, who had just finished Les mystères du château de Dé and was looking for a second film to complete the program. The two movies premiered together at the Studio des Ursulines.
Included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider. With a running length of 16 minutes, this is the shortest film listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, the book series edited by Steven Jay Schneider.

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