Monday, November 5, 2012

Un Chien Andalou

Un Chien Andalou is a surrealist silent film from 1929, created by the Spanish director Luis Bunuel and artist Salvador Dali. The whole film is set out to be a dream-like sequence and there are many areas within the film that can be related to psychoanalysis, the imagery used and ideas and concepts that are portrayed through this. The film starts off with with a woman's eye being slit open which is then juxtaposed with a similarly shaped cloud, the cutting of the eye is the abject - a physical fear rather than a psychological one. It adds horror into the scene in a more obvious way.

Throughout the film the Id and the Superego seem to be a recurrent theme. The idea that the Id is our unconscious where fears and irrational wishes lie and the Superego being the social order where things have to be acceptable. This is shown through the sexual desires of the man in the film, he battles between his irrational wishes and the acceptance of it within society. The woman fights against him and this is also representational of the Id and Superego as in the end she succumbs to his groping before pushing him off. " the former the ego, in the service of reality, suppresses a piece of the id, whereas in a psychosis it lets itself be induced by the id to detach itself from a piece of reality." - (Freud, 2007). The ego is our conscious mind, our thoughts and perceptions so the quote from Freud's 'Fetishism' text explains that because of our conscious, our ego, it suppresses part of our id - the irrational thoughts, our unconscious. In the film however the room where the majority of it takes places, could be the conscious and within the conscious there is safety so the irrational wishes and thoughts can be shown.  The man tries to corner the woman however picks up two ropes and drags along two grand pianos with rotting donkeys, stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments and two priests. This could be a representation of religion and culture and the actions this man is trying to carry out is not acceptable in society.

Another idea you could look at is the actual title of the film, Un Chien Andalou which is translated to The Andalousien Dog. This can relate to animal instincts and in some way shape or form you could say that we as humans, all have an animal instinct within ourselves. The id is the instinctual part of ourselves within our subconscious. This is not only represented through the title of the film but also through the actions of the man. Is the man the dog?

There are many different ideas and concepts that you could look at within this film with it being based on dreams and created by a surrealist artist. Only by covering a few, it already is obvious that a lot of the ideas present within the film, revolve around the idea of our conscious / subconscious and unconscious all of which are Freudian Models.

Freud, S. , 'Fetishim', in Barnard, M. (ed.) (2007) Fashion Theory: A Reader, Abingdon: Routledge, pg555

No comments:

Post a Comment