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Un chien andalou (Version française) [Import]

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Abel Jacquin, Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Alexandre O'Neill, Luis Buñuel
  • Directors: Luis Buñuel
  • Writers: Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí, Maurice Legendre, Pierre Unik, Rafael Sánchez Ventura
  • Producers: Luis Buñuel, Ramón Acín
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: French
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • VHS Release Date: Jan. 9 2001
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0000560QI
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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"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 the great directors that followed. That's because in 1928, when the film appeared, surrealism was already several years old as a literary movement (Dada was even older), and the surrealists were fascinated with film from the very beginning. In addition, there were important avant garde films before "Chien" --- e.g., Abel Gance's "Un Folie du Docteur Tube" (1915), which experimented with bizarre distortions and surreal-like imagery more than a decade earlier. Film, after all, is to a great degree an outgrowth of literature --- the earliest narrative films were frequently little more than cinematic adaptations of stage plays or other types of fiction. Ergo, *someone* was bound to adapt surrealist fiction to the film medium -- it just happened to be Bunuel who leapt to the challenge. Not that Bunuel didn't do a brilliant job --- he did; it's just that if it hadn't been Bunuel, it would've been someone else.
As for the film itself, there's not much to say that hasn't been said by other reviewers. The nudity (which includes overt sexual fondling) must have been pretty shocking for 1928 audiences, though it was less "radical" in its emotional charge than the opening sequence with the famous eye-slice. Surrealist painting, along with fiction, anticipated virtually everything in "Chien" -- shock effects, juxtapositions of incongruous imagery, sexual motifs -- all these were a standard part of the surrealist pallette, and Bunuel used them masterfully. The image of the ants swarming out of a hole in a character's palm was a specific image mirrored in painting of the time (e.g.
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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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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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