Choice of two questions:1) Film making techniques and MICRO features2) Historical context/development of surrealism
Surrealism Revision Notes:Emerged from Dada Art MovementRejects bourgeois notions of art, culture and aestheticsAndre Breton wrote the first Surrealist Manifesto in 1924Surrealism and Psychoanalysis emerged at the same timeSurrealist film makers saw cinema as a way to exploretaboo topics such as sex, sexuality, religion. They sawsurrealist film as allowing them to explore hidden andforbidden desires. This links with the emergence ofFreudian psychoanalysis.
In his youth Andre Breton used to go to random screenings offilms; watching an assortment of disconnected films –sometimes entering the cinema mid-way through a film andleaving before the end.This informed the narrative style of surrealist cinema; thejuxtaposition of random objects or events that are designed todisorientate the spectator.Films like Un Chien Andalou and L’Age D’Or often usetraditional continuity editing techniques which are thendisrupted by a surreal image. E.g. the eye-cut scene in UnChien Andalou.
Andre Breton and Luis Bunuel believed that surrealism should be arandom organic process; something free form, unplanned andunscripted.A talking point is whether film really lends itself to surrealism. By itsnature film requires planning and collaboration. It is a technicaldiscipline that perhaps required the surrealists to ignore certainsurrealist ideals.Jan Svakmajer’s work is anti-establishment however it is alsoincredibly intricate and planned out.
Know your films:• Themes and issues;• Links with surrealism;• Specific MICRO features and what you think they mean;• How do your films link with one another? Are there any similarities and differences in terms of visual style?• Context of production – Bunuel versus Svankmajer – what was happening when they made these films? In what ways are their films a critical of society at the time?