...try not to picture how this scene ends...Un Chien Andalou
is a 1929 Mind Screw
short silent film made by Luis Buñuel
and Salvador Dali
, the father of cinematic Eye Scream
, a milestone on surrealist cinema, a Real Life
example of True Art Is Incomprehensible
and of course of Le Film Artistique
and the plot — it's indescribable at best.
The title translates to An Andalusian Dog
, which if anything just makes it more confusing (Dalí's friend Lorca was an Andalusian, and they had a falling-out around the production of this film, so the title is a Take That
Un Chien Andalou provides examples of the following tropes:
- Attempted Rape: Foiled by the would-be assailant suddenly picking up two ropes and dragging two grand pianos with dead donkeys and bewildered priests attached to them across the room towards the cornered woman. He is slowed down sufficiently that she can escape. While he (or perhaps another version of him) is lying on the bed in the next room, the "plot" moves in a different direction at this point.
- Creator Cameo:
- That's Salvador Dali dressed as a priest, being dragged along the ground where a piano used to be.
- Buñuel is the man with the razor.
- Eye Scream: The opening scene is one of the oldest and most infamous cinematic examples. They used a dead calf's head and heavy lighting to try obscure the hairs on the face.
- Gainax Ending: And beginning, and middle. Not too surprising, considering that the rest of the film follows a dream-like logic at best.
- Identical Grandson: The father and son (assuming that's what they are supposed to be) are both played by the same actor.
- Mind Screw: Quite intentionally, as the film follows the logic of a strange, sometimes erotic, sometimes horrifying dream. According to Buñuel: "No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted" throughout the film.
- Non-Appearing Title: There is no dog seen in the entire movie. Especially not from Andalusia!
- Random Events Plot: Probably the Ur Example in film history.
- Springtime for Hitler: While their aim was not failure, Dalí and Buñuel were definitely out to offend. The story goes that when they screened the film for the first time, the duo filled their pockets with rocks in order to defend themselves against the inevitably violent reactions from their audience. Much to their surprise and disappointment, however, the audience enjoyed it.
- Time Skip: The title cards sometimes say "eight years later", "sixteen years earlier" or "in Springtime", but there is little in the content to indicate an actual Time Skip.
- Unexplained Recovery: The woman who has her eye sliced apparently has both eyes functioning perfectly eight years later. Maybe it is not the same woman, but an identical-looking one.
- Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: Someone's mouth disappears, soon to be replaced with armpit hair. It makes about as much sense as anything else in this movie.