Cast: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys
SUMMARY: A young man (Gaston Modot) and woman (Lya Lys) are attempting to consummate their relationship, but each time are interrupted by something, usually a societal factor. In the first instance, the two are on a beach when a religious ceremony begins nearby; the man is physically removed to a different area, but manages to escape his captors. The next time they meet is at a party, where their desire to be together is confounded by the demands of acceptable manners. The man is roped into a conversation with the woman’s mother, even though he desperately wants to get out of the situation. He finally slaps the older woman across the face, then runs outside with the woman. Unfortunately, the two are again interrupted, first by a phone call and then by the arrival of the party orchestra’s conductor. When the woman begins kissing the conductor, the man runs inside the house to the woman’s bedroom and begins hurling things out the window. Interspersed with the main story are surrealist images and scenes, including a cow on a bed, a buggy driving through a party, a blind man being beaten up, and an orgy attended by a man who looks a lot like Jesus.
MY TAKE: In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, I hate Surrealist movies. When I saw that Salvador Dali was involved in this movie, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like it — he helped make Un Chien Andalou, which is completely incomprehensible. Dali was actually only involved in the first stages of making this movie, but it’s still in the Surrealist style. What I can’t stand about this style is that it seems like an excuse to throw absolutely anything, the stranger the better, up on the screen and call it art. At least in painting, you appreciate the talent it took to draw/paint, etc. the image. With the exception of getting the cow onto the bed in this film, I think I could have made it myself. As for the small semblance of a story, I don’t really get the point. Two people keep getting interrupted while they’re trying to get it on. Of course, they keep trying to get it on in mud pits and estate gardens, instead of someplace private, so I don’t know what they expected. I kind of got the impression that the filmmakers were just going for maximum shock value, and actual story (which is the real entertainment for me) was pushed aside.