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Un Chien Andalou (1929)
"Un chien andalou" (original title)

 -  Short  -  6 June 1929 (France)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 26,167 users  
Reviews: 126 user | 86 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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(as Louis Bunuel)

Writers:

(scenario), (scenario)
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Title: Un Chien Andalou (1929)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Simone Mareuil ...
Young girl (as Simonne Mareuil)
Pierre Batcheff ...
Man (as Pierre Batchef)
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Storyline

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. Written by Ryan T. Casey <RTCasey@mn.uswest.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ant | moon | donkey | piano | grand piano | See more »

Genres:

Short

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1929 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Un Chien Andalou  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

When the young woman with the box is about to be run over by a car, she raises her hands. At that moment she is not holding the box. In the next shot just before the accident she is holding the box again. See more »

Connections

Featured in Regarding Buñuel (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod
(Opera)
Written by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

Caused a Stir in Its Day
21 November 2001 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Good way to sample the filmography of Luis Bunuel is to begin with this surreal short. An excellent intro to Bunuel's more mature work because his films are full of bizarre images that began here. Un Chien Andalou(1929) like the rest of Bunuel's early works experiments with use of film image and surrealism. Illustrates the beginning of a career full of amazing, bizarre, and subversive films. Things could only get better for Bunuel's film career and they did.

Un Chien Andalou(1929) was an artful collaboration between two surrealistic masters in Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. These two artists were part of a surrealism movement in Spain that influenced the country's art. Bunuel and Dali had a fruitful but short film partnership that ended once each wanted to go their separate ways. After the early 1930s these talented artists would never work with each other again. For Un Chien Andalou(1929), Bunuel and Dali created images of eccentric force based on their day and night dreams.

Surrealism was very popular in early 20th Century art especially during the 1920s. The surrealist movement took shape in places like France and Spain where it flourished for a period of time before falling apart in 1930s. Un Chien Andalou(1929) is a good example of what made the surrealist movement tick. Salvador Dali designs images with social and symbolic meanings. Bunuel's skills as a surrealist as first shown here would become more abstract once he started mastering his craft.

Plotless short film that is basically a series of images. Un Chien Andalou(1929) is an 'Absolute Film' which relies on abstract imagery in an attempt to unnerve the viewer. In Bunuel's early films, imagery took precedent over things like dialogue and plot. In the history of cinema its a rarity especially since the beginning of the sound era for pure imagery to be the sole existence in a motion picture. Un Chien Andalou(1929) contains images that ranges from the erotic, frightening, funny, strange, and symbolic.

Bunuel's direction for Un Chien Andalou(1929) is very good considering its his first piece of cinematic work as a film director. He uses the same type of dreamlike logic here that prevails in his best films. He directs each image with unlimited imagination. Direction for Un Chien Andalou(1929) may be crude a little unsophisticated but its still fascinating to observe. Luis Bunuel first put his name among the cinematic ranks with the historical important, Un Chien Andalou(1929).

Forever immortalized on celluloid is the eye slicing image of Un Chien Andalou(1929). Cinema's fascination with eye motif probably began here and continued from then on. The destruction of sight is an important them in Un Chien Andalou(1929) and other cinematic works. Jean Vigo remarked in opinion of eye slicing image, "Is it more dreadful than the Spectacle of a cloud veiling a full moon"? Eye slicing image was influential to Italian horror espically to the films of Lucio Fulci and Mario Bava(the former did an updated version of image with eye penetration moment from Zombie Flesh Eaters[1979]).

Caused an enormous scandal in the late 1920s with depiction of disturbing and outright strange imagery. I can picture the reaction of disgust and shock on audiences faces as they watch tongue tied at the images that bombard their senses. Un Chien Andalou(1929) may have lost a little of its shock power by today's standards. Still this short film continues to retain the ability to dare which is an improbability in today's Hollywood cinema. Luis Bunuel's next film, L'Age D'Or(1930) caused an even bigger scandal and riots broke out during the film's opening show.

Not much in the way of substancial acting in a film where characters exist only as impulses and symbols. One of the most important pieces of film during first half of 20th Century cinema. Showed filmmakers that the power to provoke is as important as acting, cinemtography, dialogue, and plot. Un Chien Andalou I think is a forethought to the daring and subversive films of period covering 1967 to 1977. Un Chien Andalou(1929) I feel is the near last of a group of films concerned with film imagery that occupied the silent film genre for twenty plus years.

A motion picture ahead of its time in more ways than one. One reason its ahead of its time is the image of a woman's bare naked breasts being touched by male hands. Image such as one mentioned above was unusual for the period the film was made. Also, there are a couple of images in the film that are on the slightly gory side. Obviously done by a young Bunuel who was more sexually open minded than the older man who though an on screen kiss was obscene.

Bunuel's fetishes and Obsessions that occupied the images of Un Chien Andalou becomes maturely developed in later films. Couple of motifs from Un Chien Andalou shows up in films like Simon del Desierto(1965). Dreamlike imagery of short frequents the stories of El Angel Exterminador(1962) and Belle De Jour(1967). Its a warmup to Bunuel's next film, L'Age D'Or(1930) which is also his first feature length film. Un Chien Andalou(1929) is an exercise in artistic expression and artistic vision by an artistic genius.


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