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Un chien andalou (Version française) [Import]

Abel Jacquin , Pierre Batcheff , Luis Buñuel    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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'Un chien andalou' (1928) is the best-known film on this video and is a fascinating work in its own right, but the real masterpiece here is undoubtedly 'Land Without Bread' ('Las Hurdes'). As great as most of Bunuel's subsequent films would be, this 27-minute 1932 work arguably towers above them all. Calling it a documentary would not do justice to its unrivaled breadth: among other things, this film asks the questions 'what is a documentary?' and 'what is the role of the documentarist?', and this prevents us from using definitive, short-circuiting labels. In fact, no label could conceivably express this film's power. The controversy surrounding this work has three main sources: 1) some of the sequences have apparently been staged by Bunuel; 2) the impersonal narration seems in direct contrast to the pain and tragedy that unfolds on the screen; 3) so is Bunuel's choice of using Brahms's Fourth symphony as background music. For these reasons, cinephiles have been disagreeing for over 70 years about Bunuel's treatment of human and animal misery in this film. For me, his audacious technique creates a space - a window - between the viewer and the plight of the Hurdanos; it is this space that somehow transfigures their misery, rather than merely exploit it (as some have suggested). The film becomes a true initiation for the viewer: it provides a difficult, troubling but potentially life-changing experience. In the end, Bunuel's intentions do not matter as much as the impact his film can have on those who see it; and for this viewer, he has carved a moving, mysterious and ineffable work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Any takers on the meaning of this film? No? Dec 31 2003
Can't say I'm surprised really because neither do I!
One guy on the video ( well my version of it ( which has two versions of the film ))says that this is a film about the sex-war and yada yada ya while another reviewer says this film is " indefinable "......so hold on if even a reviewer thinks this film is indefinable than what chance do we have of knowing......effectively zilch!
We may have our own opinions on this film but the thing with this is that each is valid. If you hate this film for the basic fact that it didn't make sense.....you would be right because it effectively doesn't
So why watch it? As funny as this may seem I don't really have an answer for that question. Blind fascination perhaps, that's all!
As I was saying I have two versions of this. One that Bunuel used with the soundtrack of Wagner's Tristan Und Isolde, which you might find isn't fitting with the film ( perhaps that's the whole point ). The other soundtrack is made by Mauriccio Kagel which is far more experimental and more jarring to the person who watches the film.
I don't know which version is used on the version that is sold to Americans.....neither do I know what the other film on the American version is like. I am only reviewing Un Chien Andalou - if I ever get the chance to review the other film I'll give my thoughts on that film as always
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Recently, I purchased and viewed my first Luis Bunuel film, Los Olvidados (The Young and the Damned). The film is very good, including some incredibly poignant and unforgettable images. I then decided to purchase and view one of his earlier works, likewise considered a masterpiece of film, Un Chien Andalou/Land Without Bread. This is awful. A mish-mash of mush! Its only redeeming quality is its brevity. Once again, here we have a film that is given much more credit than it deserves, and I'm starting to think that the reason this often happens is that: a) the movies are old and therefore deserve respect for being "groundbreaking" b) they are "enigmatic," which is the critically vogue term for "confusing," which is often the polite term for "stupid," which when inserted into the VCRs of sheltered and myopic film critics can be enigmatically transformed into "intellectual." What's more appalling than this film is the praise that is heaped upon it. So the eyeball scene is groundbreaking. So what? It's not all that! I suppose lifting up the blanket--twice--to view the dead baby was likewise groundbreaking. Try disgraceful. Un Chien Andalou/Land Without Bread is a mongrelization of meaningless movie-making that belongs on some dusty shelf in some vault catalogued for historical reference only. You've been warned.
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I had heard of Luis Bunuel from a number of sources, one of which was my mother, and also from various filmmakers in documentaries, in particular on the commentary track for the film Easy Rider with Dennis Hopper. I had also heard that he was the hero to many of the new-wave moviemakers of America and Europe during the 60's and 70's. So I knew, like Godard and Kurosawa, I'd have to see his stuff sooner or later, preferably sooner. Then came the tough question, where to begin? Bunuel, in a career that spanned fifty years, had made dozens of works, and many have been given praise time and time again. So, I found this short film on video-tape (I haven't just yet seen the documentary that accompanies it, Land without Bread, but I intend to), and being that it's less than twenty minutes long I knew I could watch it all the way without, at the worst, getting too bored. Luckily, I was not disappointed in the least. Un Chien Andalou (The Andalousian Dog) is one of the most breathtaking features ever produced, short or feature length, and the way it slips so gracefully between what could be considered something of a reality and a collague of images is nothing short of a miracle. True this could be seen as a the common movie-goer as a pretentious attempt at an "art" film, but Bunuel and his collaborator Salvadore Dali have seized the perfect technique in blending the ideal of storytelling and that of the ideal of a painter.
There is a story that I could see, however a simple one, which was all a filmmaker would need in the days when synchronized sound was a newborn child; a woman meets a man, they are in a room, he attempts to have his way with her, and then in goes from there.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars At one time
I find these films interesting for their period statements. At one time Un Chien Andalou was a statement about nothing. Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by James E. Vancik
5.0 out of 5 stars bigyucca
Good news for all Bunuel and Dali fans!! Un Chien Andalou DVD will release in April. The set will include the film, audio commentary, and a 15 minute interview with Luis Bunuel's... Read more
Published on March 23 2004 by Guillermo Fernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
Un chien andalou is a really heart-warming movie.
it has terrific music that perfectly fits the flow and the feeling of the film.The acting is also great! Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2002 by J_J_Gittes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, though not "revolutionary"
"Un Chien Andalou" is certainly one of the great surrealist films, though I'd disagree with an earlier reviewer who claimed that without it, we might not have the works of some of... Read more
Published on May 9 2002 by Paul Kesler
5.0 out of 5 stars and the sequel is about a cat...
"Un Chien Andalou" (or "An Andalusian Dog," a title which has effectively nothing to do with the film) is virtually a trailer to Luis Bunuel's entire career, containing all the... Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2002 by findkeep@eburg.com
5.0 out of 5 stars forget any politeness
In qualifying this class of films it's impossible any attempt of impartiality: you love the repulsive, anticlerical, explosive images of "El perro andaluz"or you hate the movie and... Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2001 by Carlos Vazquez Quintana
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all about the dog...
This short seventeen-minute film has some of the most famous images in cinema history. By famous scenes I don't mean epic action scenes from famous hollywood blockbusters. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2001 by Victor Spezzini
5.0 out of 5 stars The film that started it all...
Without the Luis Bunuel/Salvador Dali collaboration UN CHIEN ANDALOU, there might well have been no PINK FLAMINGOS, no ERASERHEAD, no Pasolini or Godard or Polanski etc. etc. etc. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2001 by Steve J
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film for surrealist fans
I saw bits and pieces of this movie when I was about 8 years old and I remember a while later I saw my first Salvador Dali drawing in my aunt's friends house. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2001 by Luis Paredes, Jr.
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