Surrealist Films Un Chien Andalou L'age D'or Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

surrealist films, Un Chien Andalou L'Age, d'or Las Hurdes (Land Bread), terms cinematic techniques a formal surrealist perspective. Use specific frames films discussion.

Luis Bunuel's films are generally known to have produced diverse sentiments in viewers, considering that most people are unable to digest the controversial topics that the director relates to. When taking into account Bunuel's attitude in making these motion pictures, it is only safe to assume that his intention was to push away viewers rather than to attract them. It is actually probable that Bunuel was the first director in the history of filmmaking who expressed no interest in gathering large crowds of supporters. He was not particularly concerned about the effects that his films will generate on the public, as he was primarily interested in expressing himself through these films. Bunuel's films were revolutionary at the time when he first presented them to the public and one of his trademarks was the fact that he focused on a series of more or less controversial topics.

Un Chien Andalou is Bunuel's first motion picture and it managed to produce the exact effect that the director intended it to produce in French film-enthusiast communities. While many individuals were outraged with its confusing topic, the French surrealist movement actually appreciated the film and considered it to be one of the greatest works created by the group. One might actually be inclined to consider that the French surrealist movement was concerned about providing the Hollywood film industry with a strong response and believed that Bunuel was the perfect man to do the job.

Bunuel's first film primarily succeeded in distinguishing itself from other motion pictures through the fact that it violently breaks away from the conventional narrative flow. Both Dali and Bunuel, the film's producers, were determined to refrain from using connections between the motion picture's scenes. This attitude did not prevent them from introducing some of the most controversial cinematic elements to have ever been projected on a silver screen. None of the events in the film are significant and it is almost impossible for someone to discover a connection between them. Even with this, Bunuel introduced a series of concepts that can be found all across the film in different circumstances. Instead of providing viewers with the impression that they understand the film's meaning as a result of seeing various things in several scenes, these respective repetitive elements actually bring further confusion into the film as a consequence of their appearance in scenes when they should not be present. From the very first scenes of the film viewers realize that they need to employ a different viewpoint in seeing this film, as it is apparently different from other motion pictures that they might be accustomed to seeing.

The various titles shown throughout the film have no actual meaning and they add to the film's confusing nature. In spite of the fact that viewers are provided with the feeling that the film actually tries to display a connection between particular people or events, some characters do not change along with the scene and it appears that these individuals never grow old or young (depending on the time period that the scene claims to show).

In comparison to Un Chien Andalou, Bunuel's L'Age d'Or appears to be more mature and is actually intended to deal with a social issue involving a corrupt system and the negative effects that the Church can have on individuals. While Bunuel's first surrealist film was very controversial in character and provided viewers with the opportunity to interpret most of its scenes in any way that they can think of, L'Age d'Or is different because it actually tries to send a message.

L'Age d'Or is also divided into several sections, but they are interconnected and they contribute to making a larger storyline that deals with a great deal of divisive issues present in society contemporary to Bunuel's apogee. Bunuel and Dali both considered that it would be pointless for someone to consider that they were actually interested in putting across a message through Un Chien Andalou. In contrast, L'Age D'Or appears to be meant to provide viewers with the feeling that they should expect to be left with a strong impression concerning the message that the film is trying to put across. It is very probable that Bunuel's second collaboration with Dali is less confusing because the director held a greater authority over the film's production.

L'Age d'Or was intended to directly attack two of the most important concepts in society during the early twentieth century: religion and the upper classes. In spite of the fact that this film was less confusing than the one that Bunuel previously created, the topics that it addressed were much more controversial and generated a lot of criticism from a public that was not ready to understand such complex concepts. Bunuel practically demonstrated that he was capable of creating scenes that were even more offensive than the slicing of what he wanted people to think was a human eyeball.

In spite of the fact that L'Age d'Or presents viewers with a more structured narrative, it would be impossible for someone to categorize it as being a traditional film. Although Dali's influence is not as evident as in Un Chien Andalou, the scene when the female character attempts to perform oral sex with a statue's toes demonstrates that he did not hesitate to intervene at various times in the motion picture's creation. There are a series of other scenes where one can observe Dali's intervention, but they are only meant to strike confusion into viewers, as they are not necessarily intended to be an active part of the storyline. It is very probable that Bunuel enjoyed being a part of the surrealist scene and considered that Dali's interventions added to the overall messages that he wanted to send.

One can understand L'Age d'Or as being a calmer film in comparison to Un Chien Andalou. Even with this, the motion picture manages to remain one of the most significant films produced by the Surrealist Movement, considering that the film is daring and that it brings on innovation. Bunuel mainly wanted this film to stand as a declaration to war in regard to Christianity and to the bourgeoisie.

While Dali held an active role in the creation of Un Chien Andalou and L'Age d'Or, he did not intervene in Bunuel's Las Hurdes and this is easily visible when concerning the confusing surrealism present in this film. Bunuel apparently believed that surrealism did not necessarily had to be all about confusing concepts. As a consequence, he got actively involved in combining the movement's particularities with elements borrowed from anthropology. The director virtually created an anthropological motion picture that would present viewers with a surrealist viewpoint on the domain.

Viewers had problem in understanding the documentary genre in general and it was thus even more confusing for them to be presented with a film that was somehow meant to parody documentary films. When comparing the film with Un Chien Andalou and L'Age d'Or, one is likely to observe that the narrative is structured more carefully and that the filmmakers wanted to present viewers with a less confusing account of living conditions in Las Hurdes. In contrast to Bunuel first two motion pictures, Las Hurdes is filmed in a simpler manner and it appears that the director wants the scenes to speak for themselves.

To a certain degree, one might feel inclined to consider that Las Hurdes is similar to L'Age d'Or because they are both meant to provide harsh criticism in regard to a group. By showing the horrible living conditions in Las Hurdes, Bunuel most probably wants to criticize Franco for the state of people all across Spain. The film's surrealism is…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Surrealist Films Un Chien Andalou L'age D'or" (2012, May 04) Retrieved October 28, 2016, from

"Surrealist Films Un Chien Andalou L'age D'or" 04 May 2012. Web.28 October. 2016. <>

"Surrealist Films Un Chien Andalou L'age D'or", 04 May 2012, Accessed.28 October. 2016,

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved