An Andalusian dog

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German title An Andalusian dog
Original title Un chien andalou
Un Chien Andalou title.png
Country of production France
original language French
Publishing year 1929
length about 16 minutes
Age rating FSK 16 (exam 2010)
Director Luis Buñuel
script Salvador Dalí ,
Luis Buñuel
production Luis Buñuel,
Pierre Braunberger
camera Albert Duverger
cut Luis Buñuel

An Andalusian dog (original title: Un chien andalou , Spanish title: Un perro andaluz ) is a film by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí , which was shown for the first time in Paris in 1929 . It is considered a masterpiece of surrealist film .


The black and white film consists of a series of surrealistic images and scenes. The prologue shows a man sharpening a razor, then a cloud passing in front of the full moon. The man cuts the eye of a woman sitting in front of him with a razor.

Other absurd scenes that do not belong to one another through any recognizable action - but show the same two people - are roughly separated by subtitles ("Eight Years Later", "Around 3:00 AM", "Sixteen Years Ago", "In Spring") Cut. Well-known shots are the breasts of a woman turning into her buttocks under the hands of the man, a hand trapped in the door with a hole from which ants crawl and the man pulling different things on two ropes behind him, including two Concert grand pianos each filled with a donkey carcass and two brothers from the school for the poor (seminarians).


Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí had known each other since they were studying in the mid-1920s. In 1928 they met again in Figueres (Spain), Dalí's hometown. On this occasion, they told each other two of their dreams: Buñuel's dream is said to have contained an elongated cloud that cut through the moon, "like a razor's eye," and Dalí's dream was a hand full of ants.

They decided to put their ideas into film and within a week wrote a script using the technique of “ automatic writing ” : Nothing about the film should be rational, logical, psychological or culturally explainable. The title was also chosen without reference to the film. Both dreams are used in the finished film.

Buñuel received the money for the production from his mother, whereby he said he spent half of the money in Parisian bars and not on the film. The shooting took place at the turn of the year 1928/29 in a studio in Billancourt and Le Havre , it lasted about fourteen days. Buñuel then edited the film in Paris and showed it a. a. Man Ray and Louis Aragon who loved it. The public premiere followed in April 1929.

To accompany the silent film , Buñuel played music from Richard Wagner ( Tristan and Isolde ) and Argentine tangos on a gramophone behind the screen . When it was re-performed in 1960, the same music was added to an audio track. But there also seems to be a film copy on which Ludwig van Beethoven can also be heard. Luis Buñuel does not mention Beethoven in his book My Last Sigh . Either this version was not authorized by him or he could not remember the difference between the two versions when he was writing his book. In 1983 Mauricio Kagel set the film to music for Swiss television. He used - in allusion to the title - among other things, records of howling dogs. Wolfgang Rihm composed the piece Bild (a cipher) for 9 players in 1984 as music to accompany the film.

For fear of the angry reactions from the audience, Buñuel, as he himself later reported, had filled his pockets with stones as a precaution at the Paris premiere of the film. The premiere audience, however, reacted surprisingly benevolently. Buñuel recalled that only “aristocrats and artists” would have sat in the “three or four hundred seats of the 'Ursulines'”. All of them “people who read or wrote in the Cahiers d'Art . […] At the end of the film they stood up and applauded for a long time; the stones weighed heavily in my pockets. ”As expected, the scenes caused astonishment and disgust among many viewers, and the English surrealist David Gascoyne spoke of a true“ hysteria ”caused by the scandalous film , but parts of the Paris press were enthusiastic. Buñuel and Dalí reacted differently:

“The film achieved the results I expected. He wiped out ten years of post-war pseudo - intellectual avant - gardism in one evening . This nefarious stuff called abstract art fell at our feet, wounded to death, never to get up after seeing a girl's eye being cut by a razor blade. In Europe there was no longer any room for Mr. Mondrian's manic little rectangles . "

- Salvador Dalí : The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí

“'A hit movie', most who have seen it will think. But what can I do against those who are horny for everything new, even if it hits their deepest convictions in the face, against a press that is insincere or for sale, against this dull pack that has found 'beautiful' or 'poetic', which is basically just a desperate, passionate call to murder. "

- Luis Buñuel : La Révolution surréaliste

In particular, the opening scene, in which the young woman's eye is cut with a razor, achieved world fame. This scene arouses primal fears in all people, regardless of their cultural context. A cow's eye was used for the shoot, which was heavily overexposed so that the cowhide appeared like the girl's soft skin.

In its total irrationality, the film fulfilled the principles that André Breton had formulated a few years earlier in the Manifesto of Surrealism (Paris 1924). Buñuel and Dalí were instantly famous and accepted into the Paris surrealist group. A short time later they worked together again on the film The Golden Age .


  • Both leading actors died by suicide, Pierre Batcheff in 1932 in Paris and Simone Mareuil in 1954 in Périgueux .
  • The film is alluded to in the song Debaser from the Pixies' 1989 album Doolittle . The text says: "got me a movie I want you to know, slicing up eyeballs I want you to know ... don't know about you, but I am un chien andalusia"


“The cut that cuts through the eye in this legendary opening scene is ultimately not made by the razor, but by the cinematic montage . Form and content are ingeniously intertwined here: it is only the film editing that creates the cut through the eye, which in turn symbolizes the film editing. Because just as the knife cuts through the organ of knowledge, the montage cuts up the narrative coherence of the film. And just as the man put his razor blade on the woman's eye, Buñuel and Dali put their blades on the spectator's eye. "

- Stefan Volk : Scandal films

“The cut through the eye is not as surprising as it is often said. Rather, the viewer is precisely prepared for it and that with absolutely classic cinematic means [...] The frightening thing about this sight is not due to the fact that it hits us completely suddenly, but rather that we already suspect it when we see the split moon. What should go down in film history as a major breach of taboo is also the textbook example of a match cut . [...] The surrealistic surprise effect of Un chien andalou arises from an absolute mastery of the common narrative techniques of the cinema. "

- Johannes Binotto : For an impure cinema: film and surrealism

“A classic of the art of film, on whose script the surrealist painter Salvatore Dali participated. Thematically not entirely pleasant, the surrealist design bold and imaginative. Seen from here, it is not only interesting in terms of film history. "


  • Luis Buñuel: My last sigh. Memories. , Alexander-Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-89581-112-2

Buñuel authorized only one reprint of the scenario in the magazine La Révolution surréaliste . No. 12, from December 1929, p. 34 ff. A German translation and pictures from the film can be found in:

  • Ingo F. Walther (Ed.): Salvador Dalí. Retrospective 1920–1980. Paintings, drawings, graphics, objects, films, writings. Prestel, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-7913-0494-1 .
  • Peter Weiss : Avant-garde film . edition suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-518-11444-1 . (In it on Un chien andalou in the chapter on Luis Buñuel, pp. 40–48.)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. cf.
  3. Quoted from: Alice Goetz, Helmut W. Banz (Ed.): Luis Buñuel. A documentation. Association of German Film Clubs, Frankfurt am Main 1965, p. A 35.
  4. Alice Goetz, Helmut W. Banz (ed.): Luis Buñuel. A documentation. Association of German Film Clubs, Frankfurt am Main 1965, p. A 34.
  5. Stefan Volk: Scandal Films. Cinematic excitement yesterday and today. Schüren, Marburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-89472-562-4 , pp. 41-43.
  6. Stefan Volk: Scandal Films. Cinematic excitement yesterday and today. Schüren, Marburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-89472-562-4 , p. 43.
  7. ^ Johannes Binotto: For an impure cinema: Film and surrealism . In: Filmbulletin. Cinema at eye level. Vol. 52, issue 3.10 = No. 306, April 2010, ISSN  0257-7852 .
  8. Evangelical Press Association, Munich, Review No. 114/1956