Tag Archives: Surrealism

The Diary of a Chambermaid (1964)

Of the four adaptations of Octave Mirbeau’s controversial novel, Luis Buñuel’s version is by far the most faithful… and radical.

Un Chien Andalou

Un Chien Andalou is barely seventeen minutes long, features mutilation, dismemberment and lots of insects. Yet, it is one of the most influential films ever made.

Belle de Jour

Long thought to be a satire on bourgeoise marriage, Luis Buñuel’s masterpiece is really a study of the traumas suffered by a sexual assault victim.

Freeze-Frame

Once considered avant-garde, freeze-frame is now common place in every genre. Here are some of landmark and innovative uses of the technique.

Persona

In a career that spanned over sixty years, forty films and a dozen masterpieces, Persona is the most unusual film in Ingmar Bergman’s canon.

Pan’s Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro says he is “in love with monsters.” In Pan’s Labyrinth, set in the Spanish Civil War, he uses them to navigate history and the world.

Blue Velvet

David Lynch’s shocking and mesmerising look at suburbia’s underbelly also showed he could turn popular music into a nightmare.

The Elephant Man

David Lynch’s work is widely misunderstood. To classify him as a surrealist misses the point. The Elephant Man proved he is a great humanist.

Drive

Nicolas Winding Refn’s film focuses on Ryan Gosling’s nameless getaway driver. But its best scene involves a vehicle of an entirely different kind.

Under The Skin

It took Jonathan Glazer over ten years to bring Under the Skin to the screen, but with that long gestation he might just have delivered the film of the decade.

The English Patient

Lyrical language and elliptical plotting can work in a novel, but don’t necessarily make for good films. Does The English Patient succeed?

Inception

This video-essay on Christopher Nolan’s Inception examines the themes of time and memory which serve as twin anchors to the film’s plot. These elements are also central to surrealism and the way it depicts dreams.

Surrealism in Cinema

Surrealism was an art movement that originally set out to shock. So how has it become such a normal element in Hollywood cinema? Has it lost its original power?

The Silence of the Lambs

This video-essay on Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs examines the phenomenon of looking and shows how central it is to the horror genre.

Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby was controversial before it was made. Inspired by a real-life Satanist, a sinister aura has hung around it ever since its release in 1968.

Mulholland Dr.

Like almost every David Lynch film, Mulholland Dr. is filled with deep mystery. The mystery of Mulholland Dr. is so deep no one can agree on what it’s about.


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