Un Chien Andalou (1929)
- Summaries (5)
A surrealistic film with input from Salvador Dalí. Director Luis Buñuel presents stark, surrealistic images including the slitting open of a woman's eye and a dead horse being pulled along on top of a piano. A mysterious film open to interpretations ranging from deep to it all meaning absolutely nothing. It is certain that this short (17 minute) film presented something new in the cinema of its day.
A series of surreal moving images loosely tied together by common actors are presented. Underneath a moonlit sky, a woman's eye is cut open by a razor blade. While a young woman in her apartment deals with a cyclist who took a tumble outside her building, the police, another young woman and a crowd on onlookers deal with the aftermath of the accident itself on the street. Two young men have an altercation of sorts, resulting in one of the men, dead, transported away to another world. The young man and woman in the apartment begin to transform themselves both manually and magically with other objects of their persons. The young woman then leaves the apartment and is transported to another location where she and another man marvel at what has happened with the man she just left. The two have a somewhat ambiguous end to their story.
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.
Un Chien Andalou consists of seventeen minutes of bizarre and surreal images that may or may not mean anything. A straight razor seems to be placed by a woman's eye, a small cloud formation obscures the moon, a cow's eye is slit open, a woman pokes at a severed hand in the street with his cane, a man drags two grand pianos containing dead and rotting donkeys and live priests, and a man's hand has a hole in the palm from which ants emerge.
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