Fledging director Luis Buñuel and painter Salvador Dali create this ultimate surrealist film, which is essentially a barrage of striking and irrational images designed to shock and provoke. During the course of the film, we witness a close-up of a woman's eye being slashed open with a razor; a man dragging a piano, two bishops, and a pair of rotting asses across a room; ants swarming around a hole in a man's palm; and sundry severed limbs and gratuitous slayings. Though this was originally a silent film, Buñuel later added a recorded score consisting of Liebestod from Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde and a number of popular tangos of the time. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi
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I will admit that I rented this movie for the sole reason that it's the inspiration for the Pixies' song "Debaser." Anyone who is reading this and is contemplating renting this movie should be made aware of several points (1) Yes, this movie is only 17 minutes long (2) Yes, it is silent. Even to the point that there is no written dialogue (3) No, despite the occassional pop-up of "3 Hours Later" or "That Evening" there is no discernable storyline here.
This film is, at its core, a collection of scenes filled with thought-provoking and at times shocking images. At least in the 1920's it was. Now I would consider it a waste of time for anyone that isn't a Dali, surrealism, or silent film enthusiast.
Despite the previous reviewer
This is cinematic surrealist genius
It is truly a Dali painting come to life.
I love this film...it is quite extreme for it's time especially the razor cut to the eye..OUCH!
In the vaults of film it cowers in opulance behind the bodies of the dead movements. This was made at a time when Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp was the beloved image being transfered from eye to mind to mouth to eye in the world of men along with strange jungle movies, westerns, propoganda films, and documents of architectural and engineering works. Then Louis Benuel and Dali send this postcard out of France to the ecentrics and the starving art fanatatics and its up for show on histories bulletin board. Maybe its a little what a caterpiller feels like -watching this film for the first time- when it is inside its chrysillis growing wings out of its back.