#110 (tie) – L’Age d’Or (1930), dir. Luis Buñuel

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Stone cold crazy – Lust overwhelms actress Lya Lys’ character as she gets over-affectionate with a marble toe in the surrealist Buñuel/Dalí feature film L’Age d’Or.

Director Luis Buñuel and famed artist Salvador Dalí had a surprise success when they collaborated to produce the silent surrealist short Un Chien Andalou in 1929. That film utilized the logic and imagery of dreams to create a 16 minute string of fractured, meaningless moments punctuated by confrontational bursts of violence, lust, and absurdity. Using the short as a springboard, Buñuel and Dalí attempted to pull together a more ambitious film for their second and final collaboration: L’Age d’Or (The Golden Age, 1930). Not only is L’Age d’Or a full length feature film, but it is also an early sound movie — in fact, it is the oldest sound movie in the Sight and Sound Top 250. Unlike Un Chien Andalou, L’Age d’Or has a plot of sorts, or at least something reasonably resembling an overall story, but it is ultimately a fool’s errand to try to make sense of the film’s internal logic (or for us to bother writing up a summary), as it is also loaded with dream imagery, strange manipulations of time, and scenes meant to do nothing but shock and confuse. (62 min.) Continue reading

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#93 (tie) – Un Chien Andalou (1929), dir. Luis Buñuel

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Au printemps…. About one second after this frame you realize you’re in for a very different experience with Un Chien Andalou.

In 1929 few had heard of Luis Buñuel or Salvador Dalí, two young Spanish artists living in Paris. If you know Dalí’s paintings, then you know his penchant for the absurd and tapping into the stranger depths of the subconscious. But before he gained renown as a painter, Dalí broke into the Surrealist art circle of Paris by creating this short film with Buñuel, who made his directorial debut with Un Chien Andalou. The film abandons all narrative convention to create a story (or more accurately a sequence of events and images) that takes its internal logic (or lack thereof) from dreams. Even the title of the film, which translates to An Andalusian Dog, has no connection to the events and imagery of the movie. The intent of the film, according to Buñuel, was to shock and confuse audiences. The director claimed that he filled his pockets with rocks during the first screening in case he had to defend himself against the audience. He was disappointed when they liked the movie. Oh, and for you connoisseurs of excellent music, Un Chien Andalou is the inspiration for the Pixies’ song “Debaser”. (16 min.) Continue reading