Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog)

Released:  1928

Cast:  Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali

SUMMARY:  After opening with the statement, “Once upon a time,” the film sows a man sharpening a straight razor.  When he is satisfied with the blade, he takes it out onto his balcony, where he observes the sky for a moment.  As he watches, a thin cloud approaches the full moon.  The man turns to a young woman (Simone Mareuil) sitting on the balcony, then uses the razor blade to slit her left eyeball open just as the cloud crosses in front of the moon.  Eight years later, the same young woman is reading is a bedroom when she hears something approaching.  The something is a young man (Pierre Batcheff) riding a bicycle in nun’s clothing, who crashes his bike in front of the woman’s building.  The young woman goes outside to help the man.  Sometime later, she puts the nun’s outfit, and a small box the man was wearing around his neck, on her bed.  As she looks at it, the man suddenly appears in the room.  He is staring at the palm of his hand, which has a hole in the center, with ants coming out of it.  The scene then changes to a shot of the woman’s armpit hair as she sunbathes on the beach, then to a small sea urchin.  Things then return to the street outside the woman’s apartment, where a group of people is staring at a severed hand; one of them pokes at it with a cane.  A policeman eventually arrives and puts the hand in the box the young man was wearing, then gives the box to the person with the cane.  This young lady then stands in the middle of the street clutching the box until she is hit by a car.  From the apartment, the woman and man see this, and it seems to arouse the man, as he begins groping the woman.  As he does, he imagines her naked.  The woman suddenly pushes him away, but he comes after her.  Out of the blue, he grabs two ropes and begins pulling on them:  the ropes are shown to be connected to two grand pianos with dead donkeys inside their lids; the Ten Commandments and two priests are also attached to the ropes.  The woman gets away from the man, and when he attempts to follow her, she shuts the door, trapping his hand.  However, when she turns around, she finds that he is in the next room.  Another card is shown, and the scene changes to three in the morning.  The woman disappears, and another young man enters the room and greets the first.  The second man is angry, and forces the first to stand with his nose against the wall.  As he does, the scene changes to an identical one sixteen years earlier.  The second man makes the first hold some books in his hands, but when they change into pistols, the first man shoots the second.  His body appears in a field, where he dies after seeing a hallucination of a naked woman.  The young woman returns to her apartment, where she sees a death’s-head moth.  The first man suddenly appears, and wipes his mouth off with his hand.  The woman puts on lipstick, then suddenly realizes that her armpit hair has reappeared on the man’s face.  She leaves the apartment again, and meets a third man on the beach.  They walk arm in arm for some time, and find the nun’s clothing and box on the rocks.  A final title card appears, reading, “In Spring,” and the final scene shows the now-dead couple half-buried in the sand.

MY TAKE:  If you’ve seen any of Salvador Dali’s paintings, you know that the man was a little off.  That is completely obvious in this movie, which makes no earthly sense.  I suppose that it’s one of those art films with deep subliminal meaning, but all I saw was a series of intentionally shocking images pieced together, with no plot and completely undeveloped characters.  Thank goodness it’s short, because I saw absolutely no point.

RATING:  Weird as hell.  Don’t bother.


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