brooke Well, it was a film made by surrealists at the height of surrealism
casey there was a hand
and boob grabbing
brooke don’t forget the butt grabbing
casey and dead cows
brooke I think those were dead mules?
casey This is what happens when you teach kids that they’re special and that all their ideas are good
brooke Well… I thought Un Chien Andalou was awesome
casey I actually kind of did too
what an odd film. Like, is there even a point trying to recap it?
20 MINUTES OF WEIRD SHIT: THE MOVIE
brooke Well, the usual recap doesn’t work because there’s no real plot, but I can still break it down
brooke So, despite the title, “An Andalusian Dog”, there are zero dogs in this 20 minute silent film.
It’s sort of an experimental stream of consciousness that jumps back and forth in time and between a couple of different characters. What came out of the minds of director Luis Buñuel and collaborator Salvador Dalí (yes, that Salvador Dalí) is what made it onto the screen. It’s not unlike a dream in that whatever you can think of might happen. Ants crawl out of a man’s hand. A woman’s eye is cut open. The man, after witnessing a tragic car crash, becomes a sexual assailant. Anything goes. There’s no beginning, middle, or end; it’s all sort of dumped onscreen.
casey It’s very much like watching a dream, with the disturbing, the mundane, and the weird all occurring very matter-of-factly with only the loosest connections. According to Wikipedia, the point was to “shock and insult the intellectual bourgeoisie.” Apparently it didn’t work, but it seems like a worthwhile goal, I guess.
brooke I think so. Not to mention, Ebert suggested that this is basically the beginning of independent low-budget film, so major props to Buñuel (and Dalí) for that.
casey And jaunty music, too!
brooke Catchy old French music, man
casey I’ll be humming it tomorrow! You know more about Dalí and surrealism than me. Tell me why stuff like this matters on an artistic level.
brooke For starters, Dalí had kind of an odd life. He was born 9 months after the death of his older brother, also named Salvador, and when he was 5 his parents told him he was a reincarnation of his brother. So, chew on that for a minute.
He experimented with cubism in art school but got kicked out, I believe for a prank, and ended up moving to Paris from Madrid. It just so happened that surrealism was a pretty new thing when he started painting. The whole idea was to bring together dreams and reality. The surrealists liked Freud’s free association ideas and didn’t think anything was too crazy.
I think that’s sort of the point of the movie. It’s rejecting plot and embracing a lot of weirdness that you normally wouldn’t see on film, then or now.
casey Cool. Well.
Can we talk about the effects?
casey Where to begin? The armpit hair mouth? The eye getting sliced open? The aforementioned ANT HAND
brooke I mean, I was really impressed at all of them
this is a low budget film from the 20s, and the effects are fairly convincing for the most part
(except for maybe the boobs turning into a butt)
casey Probably a lot of directors would have a hard time pulling off the boob-butt transformation, even today. I agree, the effects were pretty neat. Especially the ant hand.
brooke your obsession with the ant hand is entertaining
casey it was my favorite part
brooke I really liked the eye-slicing myself
I mean, it happens like 40 seconds in and is the easiest way to convey to the audience: this shiz is gonna get weird
I looked it up; apparently they used a calf’s eye for the effect
it looked really good
casey So I think we can agree, our readers need to see this movie. Especially since it’ll only take slightly longer than reading this recap.
brooke True. And it’s an easy one to watch since it’s just sitting on YouTube
Also, there is a first-person game that was inspired by the eye-slicing
thanks, Wikipedia, for that tidbit
Any last words?
casey Ant hand.
brooke Also, boob touching, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to see that. I guess. Watch it anyway.