Un Chien Andalou (1929) Review

Director: Luis Buñuel

Genre(s): Fantasy

Runtime: 16 minutes

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

IMDb Page

Un Chien Andalou” translates from French into English as “An Andalusian Dog.” This movie has nothing to do with Andalusia or dogs, which should tell you something about the motion picture you’re about to watch. This is my favorite short film, being nothing more than sixteen minutes of pure surrealism. Watching Un Chien Andalou is like stepping into someone’s dream…or nightmare.

This flick has no real plot, it’s just an incendiary piece of nonsensical storytelling. It single-handedly destroys the laws of time and space with its alluring dream logic. Consider yourself warned, though, as it starts off with an eye-opening act of graphic violence that has become one of the most famous scenes in silent cinema. In some ways it feels like the original “deep-fried meme,” with its grainy, washed-out look and lack of logic.

Although silent, Un Chien Andalou features a catchy soundtrack added in 1960 that really enhances the visuals. One aspect of this movie that sometimes gets overlooked is its special effects. I’m not going to spoil anything, but let’s say that this stunningly weird picture has a few sequences that just wouldn’t be the same without its primitive effects. The fast pacing should also be mentioned. All too often, films try to be dreamlike by slowing down the tempo. This is totally inaccurate, as dreams are often manically paced.

This is an oneiric masterpiece that has become a cult classic over the decades. Literal-minded viewers will despise it, but, if you just think of it as a trip inside the world of dreams, you just might love it. It’s not really symbolism, just random, oft-humorous images meant to confuse and startle those who have no clue of what they’re in for.

My rating is 9 outta 10.

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