Surrealism in Film
March 3, 2017
— art cinema, French Cinema, Salvador Dali, Surrealism
Besides avid film buffs, few fully realize the impact film had on the avant garde painters, writers and poets of the first half of the 20th century. Unlike Hollywood, which was more interested in the use of film as a dramatic form; busy reenacting sprawling epics and literary classics. The Europeans were busy seeing the potential of visual and flow. Spain, helped to establish and expand the surrealist movement into France which were the first to tap into the cinematic expression of surrealist art. In 1928, Germaine Dulac directed this early masterpiece; The Seashell and the Clergyman which is one of the first surrealist movies ever made.
A year later, Salvador Dali went onto co-write and co-direct Un Chien Andalou with Luis Bunuel. They would also collaborate in the 1930 masterpiece, L’Age D’or. Both of which are considered among the greatest movies ever made! However, Dali’s exploration of film got him banned from the surrealist guild in Spain and the two artists went their separate ways. Dali would go onto be one of the greatest artists who ever walked the face of the earth and Bunuel would become one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. The filmography of Bunuel is an extension of the surrealist art form in movies such as The Exterminating Angel, Belle de Jour and The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeois. Here’s a list of the Top 20 Luis Bunel films.
Review for L’age d’Or
Today, special effects is the art of film. The days of great directors is fading, replaced by High Definition eye candy. However, genius never goes out of style. What else more can be said about the collaboration of two developing masters creating one of the most controversial movies ever made. People thought the fowl mouth personalities of today shocks the older generations of film goers. These two Spaniards set a shit storm in France when your grandparents were still sperm. The use of image to convey message was nothing new even in the 1930’s but what do you expect when you allow two rebellious personalities who love to push the limits? You get a riot on opening night, a riot which almost cost the young filmmakers their lives. But despite this pitfall, the film is recognized as the potency of visual expression. One that can be dangerous when dealing with the personal beliefs of others. Regardless, we find a lot of Bunuel motifs he would use later on. Mostly, the dinner party which never seems to end. It’s a beautiful film, although it’s imagery is often quite disturbing. Filled with sexual advances, debauchery and the elite.
Rating: 10 out of 10