Hi Class! As I said, I wanted you to watch the Surrealist Film Andalusian Dog (link below), and to comment on the film by responding to this blog post. The film is only 16 minutes long (embedded below).
Directors Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali wanted to make a film that was structured like a dream, not a story. They were also out to shake up the bourgeoisie (trying to be subversive/ undermine the logical foundations of everyday reality). So there are some shocking images in the film – don’t watch it with your kids! However, it also has an absurd sense of play that you can enjoy. Dali and Bunuel claimed it has “no meaning” – and yet, like a dream, it seems full of symbols.
Some elements to look for in the film:
- Mix of reality with impossible/magical events
- Fractured self/ disruption the solid “identity”
- Subversion of normal ways of “seeing” the world
- Disruption of space and time/ play with memory
- Ominous presence of the business world/subversion of bourgeoise norms and values
- A strong distrust of “everyday reality”
Roger Ebert said of this film: “It assaults old and unconscious habits of moviegoing. It is disturbing, frustrating, maddening. It seems without purpose (and yet how much purpose, really, is there in seeing most of the movies we attend?). There is wry humor in it, and a cheerful willingness to offend. Most members of today’s audiences are not offended, and maybe that means the surrealists won their revolution” (“Un Chien Andalou”).
We’ll discuss it on Monday. We’ll also get started on the writer Jorge Luis Borges – He was influenced by Surrealists in his youth, but the stories in Ficciones, written in 1941, are very different. The first story we’ll read for Monday is “The Library of Babel” – see the Course schedule for the next readings!