Un Chien Andalou: Revisiting Buñuel and Dalí’s Surrealist Film

The New York Times has post­ed A.O. Scot­t’s 3‑minute look back at the 1929 short film Un Chien Andalou. Scott describes the sur­re­al­ist clas­sic, a col­lab­o­ra­tion between painter Sal­vador Dalí and a very young first-time film­mak­er Luis Buñuel, as an “old dog with an end­less sup­ply of new tricks.” The short­’s pro­ces­sion of seem­ing­ly absurd, uncon­nect­ed images, he adds, does not fol­low the log­ic of nar­ra­tive but rather the “log­ic of dreams.”

Even though its most famous (or infa­mous) images — a sev­ered hand, a hand cov­ered with ants, and most final­ly a hand slic­ing into a wom­an’s eye­ball with a razor blade —  seem less shock­ing now than they did 80 years ago, Un Chien Andalou is still a plea­sure. Our real­i­ty has changed since the 20s. Our dreams, less so.

You can watch a brief inter­view with Buñuel about the process of writ­ing with Dali here. As for the work itself, you can watch it in its entire­ty, along with L’Âge d’Or, anoth­er Buñuel/Dalí pro­duc­tion, in our col­lec­tion of Free Online Movies. But pro­ceed with cau­tion: About 25 years ago, I slipped a copy into the fam­i­ly VCR, expect­ing a cute car­toon about an Andalu­sian dog. I’m still recov­er­ing.


Sal­vador Dali (and Oth­er VIPs) on “What’s My Line?”

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

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