Re: 167 - Un Chien Andalou
And it is there where you find one of the main purposes of the film. From one of Ed Gonzalez's (Slant Magazine) best reviews, "Can there be any spectacle more terrible than the sight of a cloud obscuring the moon at its full? The prologue can hardly have one indifferent. It tells us that in this film we must see with a different eye," said director Jean Vigo (L'Atalante) of Un Chien Andalou in his 1930 review of the film for Vers un Cinéma Social. With Vigo's words in mind, it's easy to see why some think the film signals the birth of cinema.
The juxtaposition of visual, audio, and theoretical associations is immediately jarring in the film's nefarious "once upon a time" prologue. First, the opening chords of a romantic tango (though originally silent, Un Chien Andalou's famous images would later be cued to Richard Wagner's "Liebestod" from the opera "Tristan und Isolde"). A man, perhaps a barber (Buñuel himself), smokes a cigarette while sharpening the blade of a razor. He steps onto a balcony and stares at an unobscured moon before prying open woman's eyelid. A cloud slides across the face of the moon as Buñuel's razor cuts into the woman's eye. (Though an actual calf's eye was used, as noted by critic Roger Ebert, "legend has transformed it into a pig.") A confrontational Buñuel demands that we look at the world with what Vigo calls "a new set of eyes." Stop looking and you are coward."
The rest of his review is here