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Chien Andalou
     

Un Chien Andalou

5.0 2
Director: Luis Buñuel, Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Salvador Dali

Cast: Luis Buñuel, Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Salvador Dali

 
Arguably the single most important work in the canon of surrealist cinema, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali's pioneering collaboration Un Chien Andalou has been crying out for a definitive presentation on home video for years, and Trans/Flux Films' DVD edition is as close as anyone has come to date, though it's still flawed in certain respects. Un Chien Andalou

Overview

Arguably the single most important work in the canon of surrealist cinema, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali's pioneering collaboration Un Chien Andalou has been crying out for a definitive presentation on home video for years, and Trans/Flux Films' DVD edition is as close as anyone has come to date, though it's still flawed in certain respects. Un Chien Andalou has been brought to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and frankly the quality of the transfer is disappointing; the source materials are scratchy and pock-marked (though it's debatable if a better print exists these days), and while some attempts have been made to clean up the images, there's also a very noticeable glitch in the video source that should have been corrected. The audio is in Dolby Digital Stereo, and employs the musical track Buñuel prepared for the film in 1960 (based on the music played during the film's premiere screening). It's in the bonus materials where this disc really shines; this edition features a short documentary on Buñuel which includes a fascinating interview with his son Juan-Luis Buñuel, as well as a shorter feature on Buñuel's difficult relationship with Salvador Dali. Stephen Barber contributes a commentary track to Un Chien Andalou which is intelligent, though he spends more time discussing Buñuel's contemporaries than the filmmaker himself, and the package is rounded out with a rare essay by Luis Buñuel, "The Mystery of Cinema." This is an appreciative presentation of an enduring classic of experimental film, but it needs a better transfer of the picture itself for this disc to be truly definitive.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Un chien andalou is a landmark of early avant-garde cinema. Impatient with the polite cinematic surrealism of artists like Man Ray, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali wanted to stir things up and create "a despairing, passionate call to murder." Indeed, the images in Chien horrify even today, most notably the notorious eye-slashing scene near the beginning of the film. Many of the images seem to spring directly from Sigmund Freud's writings on sexual anxiety, such as breasts that mysteriously turn into a buttocks or a disembodied limb discovered by an androgyne, while others remain willfully obscure. Though the plot as such ostensibly concerns two quarrelling lovers, Buñuel and Dali gleefully destroyed all temporal and spatial continuity and systematically dismembered all forms of linear narrative and thought. Instead, meaning is created through visual associations, giving the film a thoroughly nightmarish quality. Chien went on to influence generations of filmmakers, from Maya Deren's masterpiece Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) to David Lynch's dark classic Eraserhead (1977), and it established the career of Buñuel, one of cinema's maverick filmmakers.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/28/2004
UPC:
0824820192994
Original Release:
1928
Rating:
NR
Source:
Transflux Films
Time:
0:17:00

Special Features

"A Slice of Buñuel": An exclusive interview/documentary featuring Buñuel's son, Juan-Luis; Epilogue: Dali & Buñuel bonus interview; Audio commentary by surrealism expert Stephen Barber, author of "Antonin Artaud: Blows and Bombs"; Mystery of Cinema abridged transcript of speech given by Luis Buñuel in 1953; Dave McKean graphic design and statement

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Once Upon a Time [2:03]
2. Eight Years Later [7:25]
3. About Three in the Morning [1:24]
4. Sixteen Years Before [4:51]
5. In the Spring [:43]

Customer Reviews

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Un Chien Andalou 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ring-fan More than 1 year ago
This is the first short surreal film by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. It started Bunuel's career off with a bang, or should I say eye slit? The images here are insane and it's a wonderfully humourous film for those of us who are deeply into the surrealist movements (like Yours Truly). Startling images from beginning to end and there is also music from Richard Wagner throughout, this delightful, thought provoking piece ought to be included in the collections of ever film nut. Want more of Bunuel (Boon-You-ell)? Check out L'Age D'or (The Golden Age) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoise, surrealists shan't be disappointed. Un Chien Andalou is a surrealist masterpiece and hilarious. Wonderful images!