Un Chien andalou

"Essential"

Un Chien andalou Review


It was released in 1929, but it still has the power to make audiences cringe today and it may remain the most notorious 16 minutes of film ever made. Called by director Luis Buñuel a "call to murder," and born of the Surrealist movement in art, Un Chien Andalou is one of the chief cultural artifacts from a time when film aspired to something larger than mere storytelling.

There is no plot, per se, but rather an amalgamation of images centering on a romance seemingly being conducted between the film's leads. Although Buñuel subverts every expectation that a viewer might bring to the film (time moves arbitrarily forward and backward, characters vanish and reappear, and the action remains stubbornly illegible), the images he uses to convey his deeper meanings remain passionate, resonant, and alarmingly, weirdly sexual to this day. These deeper meanings have to do with the innate drives sublimated to society, and in Un Chien Andalou they pop out everywhere with horrifying insistence: ants crawl from a hole in a human hand, pubic hair grows on faces, and, in the film's most infamous passage, an eyeball is slit with a razor just as a cloud cuts across the face of the moon. It's unsettling at least, but it also genuinely hypnotizes.

The best testimony I can offer on behalf of Un Chien Andalou is a personal one. I first saw this film when I was fifteen; roughly half way through I made the realization that it didn't make sense on purpose and my life, without exaggeration, was thus changed. Un Chien andalou was my introduction to the power of the irrational and to the concept that art could exist for its own sake. Twenty-five years after my own initiation - and 75 years after the film's release - it's my fervent hope that, in the company of Un Chien Andalou, more young recruits are being born.

Un Chien Andalou, like Buñuel's glorious 1930 feature L'Âge d'or, has been made available on DVD at long last with extras including a scholarly commentary track and a pair of interviews with Buñuel and his followers.

Aka An Andalusian Dog.



Un Chien andalou

Facts and Figures

Run time: 16 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 6th June 1929

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 20

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Luis Buñuel

Producer: Luis Buñuel

Starring: Luis Buñuel as Mann im Prolog, as Seminarist, as Mann, as Mädchen, Robert Hommet as Junger Mann, Marval as Seminarist, Fano Messan as Hermaphrodite, Jaume Miravitlles as Seminarist

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

Advertisement
The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.