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Appreciating Films: Un Chien Andalou (1929)

When I first saw the movies produced by the new LomoKino, I was reminded of a short surrealist French movie by Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel made in 1929. It is a silent, and totally bonkers film, and I think all analogue enthusiasts ought to give it a watch if they haven't already.

I have to admit, when it comes to films, my taste is far from sophisticated. In fact I love three categories really: gory zombie flicks (the more blood, the better, as with The Horde), US teen comedies (as many crude jokes as possible, as with Role Models) and urban British dramas (gritty gritty gritty, as with Kidulthood). However, when I was a teen, I had to watch this short French movie for a drama class and I fell a bit in love with it then I still love it very much now.

It is the sort of movie that I can imagine being shot on something as basic yet beautiful as a LomoKino. As I mentioned above, when that launched on November 3, memories of this simple but brilliant movie came flooding back to me. The film is black and white, obviously as it was made in 1929, and often around the edges there is distinct vignetting which I just adore. The film quality is far from perfect, in some parts it moves quite fast and jerkily even. This somehow makes it seem so much more authentic than the modern day blockbusters we watch now. It makes you feel as though a lot of effort has gone into making it.

The film itself is bonkers, I can’t think of another word to describe it really; but I think I mean this as a compliment. Being a surreal film, I suppose it is intended that way. Also, according to many sources, even the title is intentionally non-sensical. It opens with a rather graphic and slightly perturbing scene where a woman has her eyeball sliced right open with a razor blade, but try not to let that put you off!

For all you music fans out there, the song “Debaser” by The Pixies is about this movie after singer/songwriter/frontman/all round genious that is Frank Black watched it a few times. According to Last.fm, Black said of the song:

I wish Buñuel was still alive. He made this film about nothing in particular. The title itself is nonsense. With my stupid, pseudo-scholar, naive, enthusiast, avant-garde-ish, amateurish way to watch Un chien andalou (twice), I thought: ‘Yeah, I will make a song about it.’ [He sings:] “Un chien andalou”… It sounds too French, so I will sing “un chien andalusia”, it sounds good, no?

You can read more about the film at IMDB here or watch the film through this link.

written by kneehigh85

1 comment

  1. stouf

    stouf

    Impossible to forget...

    over 2 years ago · report as spam