On June 6th, 1928, the world, or at least the Parisian surrealist scene, was gifted something truly whacky: Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali‘s Un Chien Andalou. If this thing wasn’t made by two of the most well-known and respected creators of the surrealist movement, you would think it was just a real-time glimpse of what really goes on in a smelly hippie’s acid-soaked noggin; however, this is something else entirely. I’m sure everyone knows Salvador Dali as one of the greatest and most influential painters ever, but, truth be told, I have never heard anyone mention Luis Buñuel before. Admittedly, I didn’t even know who he was until I dug a little deeper into this film and did my research upon my first watch.
Luis Buñuel was every part as awesome, strange, controversial and brilliant as Dali was. These dudes were made for each other. When it came time for these guys to make a film literally about nothing (perhaps the ancestral, pre-imaginings of Seinfeld?), they did just that. This film is straight up weird, and the best part about it, for me, is that it was meant to be. If this was made by two people who seriously wanted to make a movie with a profoundly deep message and this is what they made, those guys would be completely insane. Un Chien Andalou, however, was made specifically to shock and disturb and poke fun of the French bourgeoisie, who naturally loved it. Driven by mash-ups of gross/nonsensical ideas between the two, there is no narrative, no Point A to B, no climax or character resolution; it’s simply a string of incidents put together in roughly 15 minutes and given to the world, and I could not be any happier with how wonderfully strange it is. Your 25- or 50-Year Anniversaries don’t matter here, because this thing is always as important, year after year. I don’t want to talk to you about the possible themes and motifs and lighting in the film, because to me it is not meant for that. It is simply meant to marvel at and sometimes, though not as often as I’d like, that can be quite spectacularly enough. So, without further ado, Un Chien Andalou.