Watch a Restored Version of Un Chien Andalou: Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dalí’s Surreal Film (1929)

When we talk about exper­i­men­tal film, we talk, soon­er or lat­er, about Un Chien Andalou. One can hard­ly over­state the for­ma­tive impact that Luis Buñuel and Sal­vador Dalí’s short film had on all cin­e­ma, whether “alter­na­tive,” “artis­tic,” or oth­er­wise askew. Loosed upon the unsus­pect­ing film­go­ing world back in 1929, it’s 16 to 21 min­utes (depend­ing on the ver­sion) of pure sur­re­al­i­ty have been viewed by many, even those of us with no patience for the avant-garde. For the most part, we’ve seen ver­sions of bad­ly infe­ri­or qual­i­ty. Infe­ri­or to what, you might ask, and I would direct you to the supe­ri­or ver­sion at the top of the post, a 21st-cen­tu­ry restora­tion by the Fil­mote­ca Españo­la, which offers an Un Chien Andalou not quite like those you’ve seen before, whether in a film stud­ies class, on late-night tele­vi­sion, or in some cor­ner or anoth­er of the inter­net.

Video artist and blog­ging cinephile Blake Williams had that impres­sion, find­ing what he calls “a marked­ly dif­fer­ent ver­sion of this clas­sic than what I came to know on Youtube.” The film “plays in ‘actu­al time’, slow­ing down the hyper, 16 min­utes cut to a more delib­er­ate­ly paced 21+ min­utes” with visu­als “less con­trast-blown than any ver­sion I have seen, not to men­tion that it is no longer heav­i­ly cropped. The score, too, is dif­fer­ent, drop­ping the now icon­ic tan­go back-and-forth with Wag­n­er.” If you’ve long since grown used to all the images in Un Chien Andalou’s once-shock­ing pro­ces­sion — the drag­ging piano, the ants in the palm, the rot­ting don­keys, the immor­tal eye­ball slice — pre­pare to feel at least sur­prised by them once again. Though they have become much clean­er, they’ve also become no less trou­bling for it.

For more clas­sic films, please see our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

(H/T: Israel Nava, who worked on the restora­tion.)

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Two Vin­tage Films by Sal­vador Dalí and Luis Buñuel: Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or

The Seashell and the Cler­gy­man: The World’s First Sur­re­al­ist Film

David Lynch Presents the His­to­ry of Sur­re­al­ist Film (1987)

A Tour Inside Sal­vador Dalí’s Labyrinthine Span­ish Home

Watch the Great­est Silent Films Ever Made in Our Col­lec­tion of 101 Free Silent Films Online

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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  • Luis says:

    This Is not an exper­i­men­tal film, it is moré than obvi­ous that you have no idea about sur­re­al­ism and of Buñuel. This is just a film, a dar­ing a dif­fer­ent film, free and with no inten­tion what­so­ev­er to be a mere exper­i­ment, shame on you and your Carte­sian men­tal­i­ty, you speak like an ass and will remain an ass.

  • Portia says:

    Looks the same as the one I saw in film stud­ies class.

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