Luis Buñuel

Scen.: Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí. F.: Albert Duverger; M.: Luis Buñuel. Scgf.: Pierre Schildknechtò. Int.: Luis Buñuel (l’uomo col rasoio), Pierre Batcheff (il ciclista / l’uomo), Simone Mareuil (la ragazza), Jaime Miravilles, Marval (due preti), Fano Messan (l’androgino), Robert Hommet (l’uomo della spiaggia). Prod.: Luis Buñuel. DCP. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Un chien andalou came from an encounter between two dreams. When I arrived to spend a few days at Dalí’s house in Figueras, I told him about a dream I’d had in which a long, tapering cloud sliced the moon in half, like a razor blade slicing through an eye. Dalí immediately told me that he’d seen a hand crawling with ants in a dream he’d had the previous night. “And what if we started right there and made a film?” he wondered aloud. Despite my hesitation, we soon found ourselves hard at work, and in less than a week we had a script. Our only rule was very simple: No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted. We had to open all doors to the irrational and keep only those images that surprised us, without trying to explain why.

Luis Buñuel, My Last Breath, Jonathan Cape, London 1984

Un chien andalou is an essential work from many standpoints: sureness in the mise-en-scène, skillful lighting, perfect understanding of the visual and ideological associations, solid dream logic, admirable comparison between subconscious and rational. When considered in terms of its social theme, Un chien andalou is a precise and courageous film

… An Andalusian dog is howling, but who died? Our sense of apathy, that leads us to accept all the monstrosities committed by man in the world, is put to the test when we cannot stand the onscreen sight of a female eye cut in two by a razor. But is that a more frightening sight than a cloud concealing a full moon? That is the prologue; and we must admit that it does not leave us cold. It assures us that this film is about seeing with different eyes than usual, if you can say that … Monsieur Buñuel is a good swordsman, and he doesn’t know how to fake it. A stab at the macabre ceremonies, at the last ablutions of a being that is no longer, of which only dust remains. A stab at whoever stained love with violence. A stab at sadism, whose most secret form consists in curiosity. And let’s pull on the rope of Morality we put around our neck. Let’s see what’s on the other side. A cork, at least that’s a topic with a certain weightiness. A bowler hat, poor bourgeois. Two brothers from the Christian School, poor Christ. Two grand pianos, full of carcasses and excrement, poor hypersensitivity. And to finish, a jackass in the foreground, as planned. Monsieur Buñuel is terrible. They must be ashamed, they who in their youth killed what they could have been, which they now seek along the beach where the sea flings back our memories and regrets, until it becomes parched of what we are when the spring comes. Cave canem… Beware of the dog, it bites.

Jean Vigo, Vers un cinéma social, 1930

Copy From

Restored in 4K in 2021 by La Cinémathèque française and Filmoteca Española with the collaboration of Les Grands Films Classiques at Hiventy laboratory, from an original nitrate negative and a safety dupe from La Cinémathèque française collection and a 2003 analogue duplicate print from Filmoteca Española. With the support of Creative Europe, as part of the project ‘A season of Classic Films’ promoted by the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes