Luis Bu?±uel, Salvador Dali
"[T]he most famous short film ever made, and anyone halfway interested in the cinema sees it sooner or later, usually several times."
One of the seminal and most notorious films of the last century, Un Chien Andalou is the most fully realised Surrealist film. The first collaboration between Bu?±uel and Dali caused riots on its early screenings for its shocking imagery, its attack on narrative and bourgoise society. The dreamlike quality of the films development and the striking originality of the images combine to create a series of unforgettable metaphors; a razor slicing across an eyeball, dead donkeys trapped in grand pianos and ants crawling from the palm of a hand.
Salvador Dali played a vital part in defining the 20th Century's image of a ‚Äòmodern painter', as much by his uninhibited self-exposure and self-promotion as by the impact of his painting, which was inspired by idiosyncratic interpretations of Freud, Surrealism and Christianity. Although Un Chien Andalou and L'Age d'Or are usually considered more Bu?±uel's, there is evidence that Dali, at least initially, was the more radical of the two in wanting to ‚Äòrevolutionise cinema'. After they parted, he wrote an unfilmed script, Babaouo (1932) and planned an abortive film, The Marx Brothers on Horseback Salad. In Hollywood he designed memorable dream sequences for Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945). In 1949 he returned to Spain and his beloved Catalonia where he died in 1989.
Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali, Un Chien Andalou, 1929 ¬© courtesy of the BFI, London