Un Chien Andalou (1929) Poster

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Caused a Stir in Its Day
marquis de cinema21 November 2001
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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Holy Eyeball Slicing, Batman!
Wexler22 January 1999
"Sitting comfortably in a dark room, dazzled by the light and the movement which exert a quasi-hypnotic power... fascinated by the interest of human faces and the rapid changes of place, [a] cultivated individual placidly accepts the most appalling themes...and all this naturally sanctioned by habitual morality, government, and international censorship, religion, dominated by good taste and enlivened by white humor and other prosaic imperatives of reality." - Luis Bunuel

Un Chien Andalou exists to shock the viewer of this stupor that Bunuel elucidates above. Freudian dream imagery, amorphous space/time, and absurdist humor combine in this drawn out mating ritual between a confused cyclist and the female he pursues. May be the most inventive fifteen minutes of film anywhere.
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10/10
Open Doors To The Irrational
Galina5 May 2005
I still remember my visit to Philadelphia Museum of Art, back in the April of 2005. One of the reasons I went there was to to see the Salvador Dali's exhibitions but the tickets were sold out. While in the museum, I was able to see two films that Dali was a big part of. In the video Gallery of the museum, two intriguing projects have been running together in the continuous loop, the early "Un Chien Andalou" (17 minutes) and the recently released, animated Destino (6 minutes). This was the first viewing for me. I kept coming back to the gallery few more times and I never was tired of both short films.

The inspiration for "Un Chien Andalou" began with the dreams of two young rebellious men, the artists and the friends, Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. They exchanged the dreams they both had, Bunuel - about a slender cloud slicing the moon in half "like a razor blade slicing through an eye", and Dali - about a dream involving a hand enveloped by ants. Both artists soon began working on a film script based on these ideas.

Made in 1929, the film has not aged at all. Its disconnected but haunting scenes and images are as shocking today (at least, for me they were) as I am sure they were all these years ago for the viewers who faced them for the first time. The reason the film is so powerful even now may be the themes of love, sex, death, and decay that are eternal and will always attract the artists and audiences alike. It is also could be in the establishing and following by both artists the certain rules, "No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind will be accepted...We had to open all doors to the irrational and keep only those images that surprised us without trying to explain why." Perhaps, Dali and Bunuel intended their film to be experienced directly, on the visceral level, and not analyzed by the viewers.
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10/10
The most important surrealist film of all time.
NateManD13 July 2005
"Un Chien Andalou" is amazing. A fifteen minute dream that's both breathtaking and eerie. This was the first film collaboration between Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. They both wanted to take their dreams and put it into a film. I must say they succeeded. The film is most notorious for the beginning sequence of the razor across the eye. The film was definitely ahead of its time. Even today, more than 75 years later, the image is still disturbing. A cow eye was used for the effect. The film also has a severed hand, ants that crawl from a wound and a man's Frudian like sexual obsession with a woman. If you are interested in surrealism or surreal films, this would be a perfect place to start.
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Weird, Interesting, & Memorable
Snow Leopard17 December 2004
Even those who do not like Buñuel's "Un Chien Andalou" will probably never forget it once they see it. It's one of the weirder and more interesting films that you'll ever run across, and even aside from its significance, it would be worth seeing for the distinctive style and material.

It is also very well-crafted, despite its apparently chaotic narrative (or lack thereof). Even when it is impossible to attach meaning to some of the images, it seems clear that it has been filmed almost exactly as Buñuel and Dali intended. Even the music seems to have been chosen deliberately, and at times it complements the images surprisingly well.

While the exact meanings of many of the symbols are probably deliberately obscure, it strongly suggests some general themes such as desire, frustration, and the like. To attempt to analyze it carefully is almost certainly a mistake, and it is probably best taken as a dream or a dream-like series of events without the kinds of obvious connections that one might want to find.

Likewise, it's hard to determine just how good or how important it may be. The extreme disregard of cinema conventions is hard to evaluate now, in that the movie itself established some alternative conventions of a sort. The images themselves are often fascinating, sometimes unsettling or even off-putting, almost always interesting and suggestive.

Perhaps the one thing that can be said about such a movie without much risk of going astray is that almost anyone who has a real interest in cinema or cinema history will (or ought to) want to see "Un Chien Andalou" for himself or herself. Hearing it described by someone else really cannot adequately convey what it is like.
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10/10
For those who like their Surrealism straight, no water-back.
FilmSnobby6 January 2005
Probably the greatest short film in existence, and one of the most influential films ever. Preferable, in my view, to the longer follow-up *L'Age d'Or*, if only because *Un Chien Andalou* wastes no time trying to construct an even peripheral narrative. Just seventeen minutes of masterly, bizarre images and dream-logic. There's something gratifying in the fact that, in Bunuel's first film, Bunuel himself is practically the first thing we see. After he cuts open a woman's eyeball with a straight razor, we see him no more. A fine introduction.

The famous Slitting of the Eyeball constitutes Bunuel's clarion call for cinema to ATTACK the audience right at the organ with which it consumes the medium. From that point on, he never looked back during the next five decades of movie-making. You'll notice I've waited this long to mention his putative collaborator on *Un Chien Andalou*, Salvador Dali. That's because dragging him along is wearisome, and frankly, not even germane. This movie is strictly Bunuel's baby, and I don't care what the credits say: we get the guns, bugs, rotting carcasses, sexual fetishism, and idiotic clergymen that featured in almost every Bunuel film that followed this one. I'm not sure which part of the movie constituted Dali's dreams . . . but from where I'm sitting, *Andalou* strikes me as wholly Bunuelian.

It's also not as sloppy as some critics have made out. The images may be as disconnected as in any dream, but the logic behind them is rooted in the aesthetic philosophies of the great Surrealists like Artaud, Cocteau, and the rest of 'em. Don't kid yourself into believing that Bunuel was a lazy hack with a camera, the directorial equivalent of a homely poet scribbling free verse at your local Starbucks. He knew exactly what he was doing, and in this film, made each of those seventeen minutes count. There is a ruthless economy actuating all that kinky whimsy.

A landmark achievement that prodded the medium forward even as it announced the zenith of the Surrealist movement. 10 stars out of 10.
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8/10
- There is no sense in talking about meaning
Keith F. Hatcher17 November 2003
Luis Buñuel, Calanda, in the province of Teruel in the south of the region called Aragón, a town itself afamed for the twenty-four hour non-stop drums (`la tamborada') in the streets played by hundreds of people together in Holy Week, as a young man fled to Paris with the intention of doing something great in this world. There he met Salvador Dalí who had done the same, leaving his native Catalonia in his mid twenties - some five years younger than Buñuel - with more or less the same ideas in his head.

These two young men, who in later years were to be known - even admired in some cases - as the most extravagant and flamboyant creators of art, were not alone. Pablo Picasso, not yet 50, had already been blazing the trail, to mention another Spaniard among those thronging the avant-garde Paris of the times. Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel had led the impressionist movement in music for many years, and the `Imagiste' school in poetry was well under way. Anybody who was anybody in the artistic world flocked to Paris, and either made a hit and became someone eminent, or did not.

Cinema was a new art form still to be experimented with; no wonder, then, that these two men of evidently original ideas trying to burst out of them, had to do something so as to gatecrash into the gentry of the established circles of artistes and would-be artistes or hangers-on. The Buñuel-Dalí tandem knew they would produce something different; not necessarily to scandalize anyone, but more with the purpose of attracting attention, whether from intellectuals, artists or their entrepreneurs, or just newspaper editors. Simply following the logical sequence that words can be poetic and an image is worth a thousand words, and that poetry can be abstract, thus so can images, and if they move - better still.

Buñuel got a bit of money out of his mother's purse, and thus the two young men had finance to start on making an abstract poetic sequence which did not pretend to have any logical meaning of any kind. `Un Chien Andalou' was to exist in the same way that any later painting either by Picasso or by Dalí himself would exist without necessarily purporting to mean anything, either significant or insignificant, and without necessarily any implicit objective - far less objective - raison d'etre than simply existing in itself. Whether the result could or should be considered `art' in any quintessential sense is/was up to the pundits, pseudointellectuals, newspaper critics, or anybody else who thought he had any ideas on the matter. Buñuel himself says in his autobiography `My Last Breath' that he would have quite happily burnt the film, but that would not have made any difference anyway.

`Un Chien Andalou' was the only silent film he made; whether because of lack of funds or otherwise intentionally, is hard to say. `L'Age d'Or' one year later had sound; however I cannot help thinking that Buñuel and Dali wanted to make a silent film, which then does not explain why in the 1960s Buñuel chose to add music - Wagner interspersed with a tango, a blatently at-odds combination - which would seem to have been some attempt at being unfaithful to the original. But Buñuel was nothing if not a contradictory person, to say the least. But by the 1960s he was beginning to turn out his best repertoire - `Viridiana' (qv), `Tristana', etc - and maybe his sense of maturity reigned over his other feelings, compelling him to `up-date' the film for newer audiences, even though he might be accused of unloyalty.

But, how does one remain loyal to abstract concepts which defy rationality?

Thus `Un Chien Andalou' remains one of the most misunderstood pieces of art to have ever been made public, and is perhaps the most widely-known short film of all time.
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10/10
An all-out assault on the brain, by way of the eyeball.
Ham_and_Egger13 July 2005
Distilled surrealism. 100% pure but joyously unrefined. This film can never age, it will still be slicing film students' eyes wide open a hundred years from now. As movies get more and more codified it's a real joy to watch something like this, utterly freewheeling.

What makes 'Un chien andalou' exciting for me is that it's so replete with imagery that an instinctual human fear of anarchy kicks in and you can't help trying to piece it all together somehow, as if it were one of those 3D art posters and if you stared at it long enough you'd finally "get it." Yet it just can't be understood in any conventional way, and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply trying to push their own subconscious on you.

I don't have anything against Wagner but this film should definitely be watched without the distraction of the score that Buñuel added later.
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9/10
Perhaps the most influencing movie in the history of cinema
Angeneer26 May 2001
This is a truly ground-breaking movie. Surrealist geniuses Dali and Bunuel combined their powers and produced this short collection of shocking scenes. This is the film that first showed that art is not there only to please the audience but also to annoy and depict our darkest thoughts and dreams. The proof of its success is that nowadays the shock value is almost zero (except the ultra-famous eye scene). What then seemed an outrageous and demoralizing attempt is now common practice. I still think though that given their talents, they could do an even better movie if they were more serious about it, but one should not forget they were two young guys trying to revolt against the establishment.
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surrealist rebellion against society
John2 December 2001
this movie may be dated in a certain sense, but the vitality and passion of its vicious rebellion against societal taboos and constraints still comes through full throttle. bunuel, master of cinematic/surrealist revolt, violates every boundary he can think of. a woman's eyeball is slashed open, her chest brutally groped, ants crawl out of a man's hand, etc. this is more of a curiosity than anything else, but I am a surrealism fanatic and love this along with Cocteau's "Blood of a Poet". the reviewers here who downplay it's value are simply wrong and probably decided in advance to dislike it to look different.
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1/10
incomprehensible artsy-fartsy claptrap
MartinHafer2 July 2006
If you are in the mood to torture yourself and see a piece of mind-numbingly bad cinema AND be seen by pseudo-intellectuals as "with it", then do I have a film for you! You MUST see Un Chien Andalou! This is sort of like a home movie based on dreams by a psychotic sadist--with no comprehensible plot, violent and repellent images (such as a close up of an eyeball being slashed by a razor, a severed hand laying in the street, a woman being run over, a pointless murder, etc.). In fact, I can't help but think that the film's creators, Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, just created this movie as a way to laugh at intellectuals and wannabes who just ate this crap up and declared it to be "high art".

By the way, this film is highly reminiscent of Jean Cocteau's BLOOD OF A POET--another home movie full of really interesting images (but zero plot) that is adored by the elite. Both are incomprehensible and boring films, though at least Cocteau's is harmless. Plus, Cocteau went on in later years to make some magnificent films, whereas Dalí just seems to have gone mad and Buñuel continued making movie that made everyone's head hurt.

The Emperor has NO CLOTHES!
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3/10
Once Upon A Time, Was Surrealism A Crime?
Dalbert Pringle1 April 2015
When it comes to the sheer impact of its overall shock-value - I'd definitely say that 1929's Un Chien Andalou really doesn't even come close to living up to its celebrated reputation at all. No it doesn't. Not even by a surrealistic country mile.

Over the years I have heard nothing but loud applause and excited praise for this silent-era film which is held up in such high-regard and considered to be the very first of its kind to emerge from the early 20th Century's "Surrealist Movement" of film-making.

Sure, 86 years ago Un Chien Andalou may have totally shocked and disgusted its audience (as it was clearly intended to do). But, today, for the jaded, "seen-it-all" viewer, this 16-minute short only succeeded in its demented, little mission by holding my attention for but a few brief sequences.

Directed by Spanish, avant-garde, film-maker, Luis Bunuel, Un Chien Andalou's story was hatched from the unhinged ideas that seeped out of Salvador Dali's head.
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6/10
Unforgettable surrealist work
Leofwine_draca17 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Here's a French, seventeen-minute long silent short which marks the debut of acclaimed director Luis Bunuel and his unique collaboration with surrealist artist Salvadore Dali. It's certainly a visual masterpiece viewed highly in many quarters, a film which demands close attention and repeated viewing in order to understand the various themes running through it. On first appraisal one can appreciate the shocks and fantastic visual imagery that Bunuel and Dali fill their movie with but the rest is a bit befuddling, an abstract film that reflects the battle of the sexes and a man's attempts to love a woman.

The defining moment of this production is the opening, in which a man nonchalantly uses a straight-razor to slice open the eyeball of a woman sitting in a chair (if you think the effect is disturbingly realistic, it's because a cow's eyeball was purportedly used for this shot). It's testament to this film's power that even today this scene is still talked about by fans of the ghastly and grotesque as being one of the most sickening shocks in screen history and time hasn't had any effect on this bit at all - it's still as horrible as it ever was. The rest of the scenes are memorably bizarre if not quite so disturbing. Men meet and fight themselves in different periods of their lives, a woman plays and cradles a severed hand in the street and a man sees ants pouring from a wound in his hand. It may not make much sense but you won't ever forget the images here - making a must for the fan of the surreal and bizarre.
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10/10
A Landmark Study of a Dream
nycritic9 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Borne out of the reactionary precepts of Dada (1915 - 1920) -- itself a violent reaction against the evolution of the society of the times which had culminated in World War One, Surrealism strove to break the traditions and incorporate the subconscious into the conscious, a theory Andre Breton described in his Surrealist Manifesto of 1924. In it, he included all forms of expression: visual and written. He advocated the use of free-thought, in which a person could tap into his inner mind, let loose all of the censorship which would dilute these thoughts, and express them in physical form whether they made sense or not. It diverged from Dada in the fact that Dada was anti-art in every form -- it valued nihilism and destruction of preordained forms, whereas Surrealism brought the irrational into rational form.

During the 1920s Surrealism enjoyed its most prolific expressions. On canvas, Andre Masson was the principal exponent of automatic drawing. Giorgio de Chirico created disturbing landscapes of ominous dread, even though later on he would come to deny his involvement in the genre. Salvador Dali embraced the genre with so much fervor this is where he stayed until his dying day, and to this day, whenever anyone thinks Surrealism, it's inevitable that Dali becomes the first name to be thought of. Such has been Dali's association with the movement, and it's said that with his death in 1989, so died the movement.

However, at its beginning, Surrealism seemed to touch everything it came in contact with. This included film as well. Luis Bunuel, a man who couldn't relate to writing or painting, sought to express it in film. His collaboration with Salvador Dali was this 17 minute nightmare in which disjointed events were woven together by the inherent presence of the dream factor. It's famous now for its shocking depiction of a woman's eye being sliced at the same time a razor-like cloud passes in front of a shining moon. The scene comes with no warning, so the viewer can't be prepared to anticipate its occurrence. It solves nothing, it means nothing, but there it is, oozing sudden violence that ends as quickly as it appears.

Much has been the attempt to disclose the meaning of UN CHIEN ANDALOU. It has none. Having studied Surrealism for most of my incursion into Architecture, I am aware of the fact that because Surrealism delved into the subconscious so openly it flew in the face of concrete explanation. However, the influence the short has had in how movies and stories are told -- whenever a dream or bizarre sequence would be needed -- is unquestionable. Surrealism is present in media advertising, in music videos, in literature, even in architecture, to a lesser degree: one has to only see the bizarre yet beautiful creations of Frank Gehry to see how appropriate they would be in a De Chirico landscape. And anyone who has bought recent compilations of Lovecraft's short stories will see the most bizarre descriptions of a corrupted, blackly sensual world.

Bunuel in his short created a masterpiece that is a must-see for anyone who is studying art and surrealism. Seeing its images, which marry the foldings of time with the notions of death and sex and decay almost seamlessly, is a thing of horror and beauty. While Bunuel only made one more completely Surrealist movie in L'AGE D'OR, this is it, the first one, the most important. It's influenced everyone who's made movies whether they've seen it or not because of Surrealism's inherent presence in the visual. And it's best seen without the annoying soundtrack, added much later to give a sense of time and movement within its deconstructed reality.
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1/10
ONLY good from an academic standpoint.
FoxWolf8715 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'm rewriting my review, because my view of this movie has changed... but not for the better.

Un Chien Andalou is another one of those films that's good from an academic standpoint, but not a good watch.

Imagine this scenario...

Two people decide to make a movie. They decide that they're going to make it really surreal and crazy. They decide the best way to accomplish this is to give the film no plot, no story, no definite characters, fill it with shock imagery, and hope the weirdness makes people think it's a work of art.

That's this movie in a nutshell... except that it was done by Luis Bunuel, and Salvador Dali. Because they did it... people think it's artistic. Because it's done by artists.

This film is everything I described above. It's shock imagery consists of borderline rape, graphic cutting of an eyeball, priests being dragged like pianos, insects crawling out of people, and miscellaneous death.

Entertainment value plays a huge factor in my reviews on IMDb, mainly because I believe comments should give an honest opinion for the general viewer. This film is not a good watch. It's weird imagery trying to pass itself off as film-making art.

However, the film is very interesting from an academic standpoint. It is an interesting study of shock value, and it does have some weird imagery which stays with you and actually can influence better work.

I didn't like this film, but when watching it from an academic standpoint, I was inspired by it. However, it doesn't redeem the film, and it has a very special spot at the top of my personal "bottom 100" list.

1/10 for entertainment value. 10/10 for academic value.

Watch only from an academic viewpoint.
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9/10
Possibly the Greatest Sixteen Minutes of My Life
gavin69421 April 2010
I usually begin my reviews with a plot summary, but there's no real plot to speak of. There may be some connection between it all, but that is largely left up to the imagination of the viewer.

Film historian Ivan Butler says that the film opens "with a scene as horrifying as any seen before or since... put in deliberately to shock and alienate the audience." Filmed in 1929, Butler's words remain true even today (2010). Such violence (if we may call it violence) would not reappear for decades, and certainly wouldn't pass the censors. Mike Mayo agrees, saying the scene "set standards of shock value that few of today's horrors can match." That, and a fairly rough groping scene a few minutes later.

But, does it stop with this? Oh, no. We have the Androgynous Child prodding a severed hand with a stick, and soon come upon two rotting horse carcasses stashed in dual pianos, alongside two priests (one of whom is played by Salvador Dali).

A death's head moth (made famous by "Silence of the Lambs") appears, with its distinctive mark an indistinguishable mesh between a skull and the face of Jesus Christ, yet another symbol evoking both religion and death. These seem to be the running themes: religion (the priests, the nun habit) and death. What, if anything, is to be made from this?

Such surrealism anticipates the work of David Lynch and David Cronenberg, perhaps most notably "Naked Lunch". I am at a loss to name any other director between Luis Bunuel and Cronenberg who has come close to this level of absurdity. For those interested in surreal art put to film, this is where you want to start.
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8/10
What does this film mean?
caspian197811 September 2001
I am about to answer the question that has been unanswered since 1929. I have the answer that explains what is happening in this film and why. More simple than it really is, the entire film is not as complicated as many think. The entire film is a mixture of dreams and thoughts coming from the male lead. He has nothing on his mind but his girlfriend. Throughout the entire film, we see him question himself whether or not he should marry her! That's it! We see examples of this with the way he looks at her and then sees images of commitment, divorce, and priests carrying a burden over their shoulders like a dead mule. A wonderful film non the less, you have to check this out whether or not you're a fan of Avant-Garde
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Don't overthink it, folks.
B Lawless2 May 2001
I find it hilarious that so many people who have posted here are even attempting to place any meaning whatsoever into this film's imagery! The only point to be made in this movie is that there should be no point to be made. Any significance placed onto anything contained in this film is a complete fabrication of the narrow-minded viewer who believes movies are only made to carry some message. That is the genius of Bunuel and Dali. They were surrealists. The point of surrealism is that there is no point, no meaning whatsoever.

Personally, you all may dissect (pun intended) and pore over this great film if you please, but you are fools in the eyes of the (deceased) filmmakers for doing so.
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5/10
Lulled by hype, left with disappointment
Jonny_Numb19 April 2006
"Un Chien Andalou" is yet another 'classic' that people seem particularly afraid to speak negatively of, heaven forfend they blaspheme the dearly departed geniuses who birthed it. At 16 minutes, there's not much room for boredom, but a bulk of its alleged 'disturbing' imagery is farcical by today's standards, and what remains didn't provoke any outstanding reaction in me. After watching it with the commentary track, I was left even colder. If you like slit (cow) eyeballs, death's-head moths, and beach scenes, have a ball. Personally, I'm going to give this unspectacular yet influential surrealist short a "5" before my mood swings again...
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1/10
Sweet mercy
joeker-betts1 October 2007
Oh sweet mother of mercy how we laughed. I watched this film for the first time today in Film Studies and I can honestly say I've never seen such a film.... if you can call it that. Surrealism and abstract stuff, I think, are just easy ways out to make anything, no matter how stupid and silly, look good. I was in absolute stitches throughout!!!! I was watching it and thinking this looks like something me and my friends would film for a laugh!!!! I didn't know what was funnier, the film itself which or the fact that people actually made it!!!! It's past bizarre and beyond surreal. It's just stupid. Please, only watch this film for a laugh. To watch for any other reason is just a waste of time. People may argue saying I'm not looking at the deep political undertones. I'm sure there is some meaning, somewhere, in this film but, my goodness, there's better ways to show them!!!!
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Rotting Donkeys
tedg23 August 2006
Over time, and with the intercession of countless film school professors, the notion of "surreal" has morphed from something living to something dead, shelved.

The original context was no context, the rejection of context. The rejection of explanation and meaning, at least of the sort that was then current. Well, not quite. These guys followed the real anarchists of imagination and started inserting things that really did have substance, effect.

They relied on the scientific view of the time, one of them, about the nature of cognition. Its a quaint notion now, that images somehow float in the dream zone of the brain, loaded with power but no meaning. Once awake, the hidden Nazi in each of us arrays these image pieces into a sort of order, but one that is artificial, saps the objects of much of their power and prevents us as beings from being free and rich.

(I use the term, "Nazi," deliberately, as the Spanish rural imagination viewing what was then a largely German-lead notion of cosmological structure.) Dali would water this down based on what worked commercially. Similarly, Bunuel would also in his own way accommodate narrative to "make a point" about the value of not making a point. So this (and the next) are about as pure as we will get of the fresh notion of image insertion into our minds without a narrative wrapper.

Its a curious artifact of history. That notion of cognition has been discarded as we've learned that cognition works in exactly the reverse dynamic that they preferred: its all narrative with images and symbols along for the ride. So if you appreciate this, it should be neither for what it means (as it means nothing), nor as a deep artistic experience (unless you consider essays art), but rather as one of the political movements that brought us to where we are today with Spanish-speaking filmmakers.

We are all enriched by these guys and their notions of parallel narratives, often called magical. Its where the seat of the cinematic soul is now. If you hold that everything that took you to a celebrated place should be celebrated, then you'll like this.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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10/10
a fantastic and bizarre movie
fezziwig208413 February 2013
The film 'Un chien Andelou' is an early Bunuel film and is one that adopts the surrealist style which was very popular for the late twenties.

Watching this film is like watching a strange dream that you once had and one that didn't follow any sort of logical story line. This short has many different elements and many time periods in which it takes place.Some parts have a tone which you can follow if you pay attention and some serve no purpose whatsoever. Despite this, the film is really fun to watch. I would suggest this movie to those who are fans of surrealism, Bunuel's work, or looking for something that different than most films. If you look closely you can spot Salvador Dali as a confused priest.
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7/10
Early cinematic voyage into the irrational
Roman James Hoffman3 August 2012
'Un Chien Andalou', the (in)famous collaboration between cinematic provocateur Luis Bunuel and arch-Surrealist Salvador Dali, is one of those films that you simply have to see. This is, in part, due to the singularly unique viewing experience it affords as well as a reflection of the status it has achieved since it was first shown in 1929.

The story goes that (once upon a time) Bunuel and Dali were having a conversation about some dreams they had recently had (a cloud "cutting" the moon and ants in a hand respectively) which inspired them to make a film loaded with provocative and shocking imagery and a wholly confounding anti-narrative designed to be resistant to rational explanation and to confront the complacency of the audience. To this end, the film can be said to be a complete success as there are, to this day, many who baulk at the absence of a narrative and dismiss the film as an over-hyped joke. At the other end of the spectrum, academics and film theorists have been known to jizz over every frame of the movie and pour hyperbole on top of (sometimes highly strained) critical analysis in an effort to reveal the film's latent meaning.

For my money, while enjoying many of the elaborate academic analyses that the film has inspired, I believe that in addition to an absence of manifest meaning in its lack of traditional narrative I also believe there is no latent meaning lurking under the symbolism. This is because, despite the dream-like appearance of the film, 'Un Chien Andalou' is actually the result of Bunuel and Dali's careful (and employing all their rational faculties) subversion of cinematic conventions to contradict normal notions of temporal cause-and-effect. For example, the eye-line matches of the man in a room watching someone run over in the street and who then subsequently sexual assaults a woman could be a genuine, albeit deviant, cause-and-effect…or just as easily, the eye-line matches could have been added randomly. Another example is the seemingly random use of inter-titles which mocks the exposition and back-story we have come to expect from such devices.

The beauty (and presumably the longevity) of the film comes from this ambiguity: any and all interpretations are valid. What is sure is that the film succeeds in its attack on narrative complacency and while it's debatable if there is anything to understand in the film, from both a purely visual perspective and as a self-reflective exercise in perception and the construction of meaning, there is certainly much to appreciate here.
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9/10
One of the most original shorts ever made
Warning: Spoilers
I can't even imagine what someone in the '20s must have felt when watching this. It's creepy, the after added soundtrack feels like some sort of doomy and eerie. It's a series of disturbing images including of course the famous razor blade across the eye, bugs crawling out of a hand, dead animals and several other things you'd never think you'd see from such an early movie. It's really easy to see Dali's input what with the insects and the style, very surreal indeed. It has the feeling of a train wreck where one can't look away despite the feeling of feeling awful for doing so. Perhaps this has an actual plot, perhaps not but I prefer to not dissect it. I just know it had some of the weirdest images put to film for the time and that it was fascinating to watch.
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9/10
A Dream Come True
SenjoorMutt10 November 2015
Luis Bunuel's and Salvador Dali's surrealistic 'An Andalusian Dog' was their first and it is called the seminal surrealist film. The film has no plot, or at least in the conventional sense, and is built up like a dream sequence with seemingly random scenes. But it's not meant to be a dream, it's just a different world (or a parallel universe if one wishes). Bunuel and Dali didn't meant to contrive a plot that could make sense. Even the title was intended to make any sense.

This film has also given us one of the most memorable and haunting scenes in the history of the cinema - slicing a woman's eyeball with shaving knife. And this horrifying image probably has brought many people to see this surrealistic gem.

This film is notable also because it was one of the first real independent film that was made without any studio support on a shoestring budget. 'An Andalusian Dog' has influenced many independent filmmakers throughout history. An of course it has been influence to many surrealist artist and even for a Sex Pistols.

Probably everyone who are half interested about film in general will find this film one day.
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