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January 23, 2010

Un chien andalou (Classic Film Pick)

Un-chien-andalou-1929_poster Un Chien Andalou
Before their volatile relationship between Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali soured, the two surrealists created cinema's purest example of surrealism . It is a combination of dream and nightmare from an actively surreal perspective. The 17-minute film started riots when it premiered in Paris in 1929. Bunuel carried rocks in his pockets to throw at his attackers. Famous for a scene of the slitting of a woman's eye with a straight-razor, the film remains in heavy rotation in America's college classes where it's shown in a variety of academic contexts. There is a certain circus sideshow quality in the way Bunuel and Dali gloat over their strange images, like a swarm of ants erupting from a hole in the middle of a man's hand. With irreverent abandon the maverick artists provoke the audience with a movie that celebrates film's adaptive ability to expose the sub-conscious mind. "Un Chien Andalou is 17-minutes of sheer genius."

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