|Lya Lys in Luis Buñuel's L'Age D'Or (1930)|
The Paris of the 1920s was home to one of the twentieth century’s most enduring
and controversial art movements. So influential were the ideas and imagery of
Surrealism that the very name of the movement has become a household word.
Developing alongside the golden age of silent cinema, Surrealism was profoundly affected by movies. While only a few Surrealists actually made films, their films constitute some of the most influential avant-garde works in the history of cinema.
Salvador Dalí’s and Luis Buñuel’s explosive Un Chien Andalou ranks with the most influential films ever made, and is one of the purest representations of Surrealism on screen. A sensation upon its Paris premiere in 1929, it has since inspired the imagery of countless filmmakers. In writing the script, Buñuel and Dalí used only images from their dreams, and resolved to eliminate all images that might possibly have a rational explanation. Yet because of the powerful visions of both artists, the film moves with a strange logic, a cinematic grace, and a peculiar mixture of humor and shock which was to mark Buñuel’s subsequent work.
Buñuel’s next film, L’Age D’Or, was his final collaboration with Dalí. Pairing a scabrous attack on bourgeois values with a celebration of mad, spontaneous love, it caused a scandal for its high-society producer and was banned. But it has since come to be regarded as a highlight of Surrealist film and a key work in Buñuel’s career. L’Age D’Or will be shown in a rare print deriving from the original 35mm Fine Grain positive from the Cinematheque Française.
Though considered a Dada film, the impish 1924 Entr’acte pointed the way to the subversions and experimentation of later Surrealism. It features cameos by such major figures of the 1920s Paris art world as Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Erik Satie.
René Clair, Entr’acte (co-written with Francis Picabia), 1924, 22 minutes screened in 16mm
Luis Buñuel, Un Chien Andalou (co-written with Salvador Dalí), 1929, 16 minutes screened in 16mm
Luis Buñuel, L’Age D’Or (co-written with Salvador Dalí), 1930, 60 minutes screened in 16mm
|Luis Buñuel in Un Chien Andalou (1929)||Erik Satie and Francis Picabia in Entr'acte (1924)|
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Go to Part 1 of
Surrealist Classics - Surrealist Science: the world of Jean
THE GOLDEN AGE is a Film Love event, programmed and hosted by Andy Ditzler for Frequent Small Meals. Film Love exists to provide access to great but rarely-screened films, and to promote awareness of the rich history of experimental and avant-garde film. Film Love was voted Best Film Series in Atlanta by the critics of Creative Loafing in 2006.
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