an andalusian dog

luis buñuel and salvador dalí\’s \”un chien andalou\”, 1929. I remember seeing this short film for the first time when I was about five years old. In short trousers clasping a glass of spilt milk. Right after \”Watch with Mother\”; back in those days when the BBC was less inclined to wrap its viewers in cotton wool soaked in chloroform, and took risks in its remit to educate.

Children\’s TV – \”The Clangers\”; \”The Herbs\” – possessed a sympathetic soupçon of autistic dislocation: \”One sugarlump or two ?\”asked the Andalusian dog. Shocking, quite. Surrealistic, most definitely. Dali would have been delighted. The film, of course, is entrenched in the silent era. Like Edvard Munch\’s \”The Scream\”, a good few decades before NBC\’s \”Homicide: Life on the Streets\”. The question arises, then, whether a soundtrack is desirable or appropriate. Pianos were popular in theatres of the period, and provided welcome employment for itinerate musicians. Terry Riley\’s \”In C\” works remarkably well retrospectively, I feel, but overruns the film\’s 16 minutes by a good half hour. The piece has a distilled air of supressed hysteria and helplessness, like a cork bobbing on the ocean; or a bird with its wings frozen quietly dropping through the sky. Suggestions on the back of a postcard, please.


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