Surrealism and the movie Un Chein Andalou

Written in 1925 by André Breton, the first Surrealist manifesto consists of 9 points which tells us that the purpose of surrealism is to repudiate all existing norms of thinking and of perceiving the world; to “make a Revolution”. And clearly the purpose of the whole movement is to promote the idea that the subconscious mind is more important than the rational, conscious mind.

Created by the Spanish director Luis Bunuel and the artist Salvador Dali, the movie Un Chein Andalou embodies the ideas of the Surrealist movement, and clearly is something revolutionary. The movie is product of the unconscious mind of Bunuel and Dali, and the world depicted in it is abstract, illogical, and confusing. It makes a revolution, as the Surrealist manifesto mentions, by refuting everything rational and logical, everything that we are used to perceive as important for our world. For example, what struck me were the disrupted time and the illogically changing space in the movie. The presence of images such as the dead donkeys without eyes or the half bodies on the beach makes the movie disturbing and confusing. They are products of the unconscious mind, and cannot be perceived by the rational mind.

The movie Un Chien Andalou, follows the ideas of the manifesto and rejects the rational thinking in our world. It presents a reality dictated by the unconscious mind. By watching it I ask myself: How was this movie accepted by people back in the 1930’s? How did surrealists influence people of their time?

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One thought on “Surrealism and the movie Un Chein Andalou

  1. I found this blog post to be solid and concise. You effortlessly draw correlations to Un Chien Andalou and the Surrealist Manifesto, and explain how the movie is a reflection of the ideas in the manifesto. Your discussion question is also though provoking. People seemed to be extremely sensitive to change during this time period, and when Un Chien Andalou was released, I am sure some people saw it as outrageous and artistically controversial.

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