Pies andaluzyjski - w stronę filmowej symulacji marzenia sennego / The Andalusian Dog – Towards the film simulation of dream

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Abstract

The subject of the article is a debut short film Un Chien andalou (The Andalusian Dog) made in 1929 by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel with collaboration of the artist Salvador Dali. This film, regarded as the main work of surrealist cinema, is one of those few masterpieces of experimental cinema that received a lively reception of the wide audience. Critics even accorded him the name of the best-known short film in history.

This was a work entirely different from what had been made before: “the densest and the most puzzling seventeen minutes in the history of cinema” showing intense, vivid pictures but at the same time fragmentary and ambiguous, and hard to understand. A detailed interpretation of the content is difficult if possible at all. From the beginning, however, there was agreement about the general message of the film. It was read as the projection of consciousness, full of iconoclastic, delirious pictures with inspirations verging on obsessive-compulsive disorders. The ecstatic visions were interpreted, in accordance with the authors’ intentions, as revelations attacking the empty rites of tradition and challenging the dogmas of the “logic” of the existing world order. The timeless value of the film does not consist in Buñuel’s new view of the world, because the edge of the once iconoclastic meaning the work has become blunted with time, abut in the use of film as a medium of communication utilized in a new, revolutionary way. The Andalusian Dog is not a representation of dream images or it does not tell daydreams as this used to be before. Nor the dream sequences are a figure of speech in the classic film narrative called “dream sequence”. The permanent value of The Andalusian Dog consists in that this motion picture is the first film simulation of dreaming while sleeping, evoking sensations close to experiencing an actual dream.

The article discusses mutually complementary issues. These are, inter alia, the synergy of sound and projection of moving pictures; The Andalusian Dog and total art; The Andalusian Dog as an instrument of introspection; dream as a method of creation; The Andalusian Dog and psychic automatism; distillation of dreams; The Andalusian Dog among art disciplines; the open work of art; The Andalusian Dog - the composed sleep. All these themes and aspects set this work in the twentieth-century paradigms, which ensures its effective impact even today. Owing to this we are “immersed” in the film and allow full play to fantasy: perhaps this makes us wiser…

Annales UMCS, Artes

The Journal of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University

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