(29/12/06) – (Luis Buñuel/Salvador Dali, 17 min, 1928)
To coincide with the Luis Buñuel season in January and February, we’re dedicating the new edition of Stream Factory to Buñuel’s debut, Un Chien Andalou. Made in collaboration with Salvador Dali in Paris in 1928, the film granted the fledgling Spanish artists access to the Surrealist movement that had its physical and spiritual home in the French capital.
In his very entertaining autobiography, My Last Breath, Buñuel wrote that Un Chien Andalou "was born of the encounter between my dreams and Dali’s…While Dali and I were making Un Chien Andalou we used a kind of automatic writing. There was indeed something in the air, and my connection with the surrealists in many ways determined the course of my life".
Un Chien Andalou was meant to be a call to murder, as Buñuel once described it, and although it may have shocked some people at the time of its first screenings, it has ever since become an official item of 20th century modern art, which may not have been exactly what Buñuel intended. Still, the opening sequence when a slither of cloud bisects the moon followed by a razor slicing an eye is one of the most memorable images cinema has produced, and its symbolic resonance stays with the viewer forever.