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"... Le Chien Andalou was the film of adolescence and death which I was going to plunge right into the heart of witty, elegant and intellectualized Paris with all the reality and all the weight of the Iberian dagger, whose hilt is made of the blood-red and petrified soil of our pre-history, and whose blade is made of the inquisitorial flames of the Holy Catholic Inquisition mingled with the canticles of turgescent and red-hot steel of the resurrection of the flesh.
Here is an extract from what Eugenio Montes wrote at the time (1928) about Le Chien Andalou:
“Bunuel and Dali have just placed themselves resolutely beyond the pale of what is called good taste, beyond the pale of the pretty, the agreeable, the epidermal, the frivolous, the French. One passage of the film was synchronized with the playing of Tristan. They should have played the Jota of La Pilorica, of her who would not be French, who wanted to be Aragonese, of the Spain of Aragon, of the Ebro – the Iberian Nile (Aragon, you are an Egypt, you erect pyramids of Jotas to death!).
“Barbarous, elementary beauty, the moon and the earth of the desert in which ‘blood is sweeter than honey’, reappear before the world. No! No! Do not look for the roses of France. Spain is not a garden, nor the Spaniard a gardener. Spain is a planet and the roses of the desert are rotten donkeys. Hence no wit, no decorativism. The Spaniard is essence, not refinement. Spain does not refine, it cannot falsify. Spain cannot paint turtles or disguise donkeys with crystals instead of their skin. The sculptured Christs in Spain bleed, and when they are brought out into the streets they march between two rows of civil guards.”
And he concludes by saying,
“A date in the history of the cinema, a date marked with blood, as Nietzsche liked, as has always been Spain’s way.”
The film produced the effect that I wanted, and it plunged like a dagger into the heart of Paris as I had foretold. Our film ruined in a single evening ten years of pseudo-intellectual post-war avant-gardism.
That foul thing which is figuratively called abstract art fell at out feet, wounded to the death, never to rise again, after having seen “a girl’s eye cut by a razor blade” – this was how the film began. There was no longer room in Europe for the little maniacal lozenges of Monsieur Mondrian.