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Disjointed Images in the “Un Chien Andalou” Film Essay

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Updated: Mar 26th, 2022

The Un Chien Andalou film is one of the most renowned and critically acclaimed films, for its beauty and poetry. It occupies a position between a narrative coherence and a highly skilled juxtaposition of disjointed images. It is made up of a succession of numerous images, each with varied meanings, hence, offering no satisfying confirmation of a single narrative.

However, a closer insight reveals that the images are not entirely disjointed, and is hence not a juxtaposition of separate successive images, but a logical continuation, since each image is only understood in relation to the others. Consequently, the advent of this film and the kind of depiction involved ushered in a new and profound recognition for the form of art called surrealism.

The importance of this film is that it encourages viewers to form diverse interpretations of all the film’s aspects. Surrealism allows the surrealists to downplay the distinction between life and dream. No form of art had previously depicted this reality in a more convincing way, since it allowed the presentation of dreams and the subconscious in a very tangible way.

The filmmakers present this film as a map that aids the viewer in finding the way through a bewildering and confusing landscape. However, the deciphering process allows for a deeper understanding of the “hidden” meanings in the film.

Remarkably, this film is a startling work that allowed for the creation and depiction of the subconscious on a new and higher level, through movies and pictures all over the world. The context of this movie is a daring, bold, and highly expressive form of art called surrealism.

The author profoundly uses surrealism to cultivate unease in the viewer, through an irrational and intensive pairing of images. Surreal images are in existence all around us. In essence, surreal generally denotes dreamlike or bizarre. Surreal artistry, just as in this movie, embraces the irrational, and takes the viewer to a dreamlike, imaginary world, normally with the help of various applications and techniques.

Founded in 1924, surrealism involves the expression of actual thought function, usually by drawing inspiration from the unconscious mind. In surrealism, the perceptible and rational things of the outer world lose their perceptiveness and rationality in the artist’s thoughts, and enter into a psychical, irrational level.

For instance, a tomato in a surrealistic artist’s head could be a child’s balloon. The ambition of the surreal artist is primarily to materialize the ideas and images of concrete irrationality. He achieves this by ignoring rational thinking, in order to reach to the surreal. The meaning of the image so obtained may seem void of meaning to the artist, though this is not so. On the contrary, the meaning is normally so profound, that it is impossible to analyze it using logical intuition.

This movie ultimately demonstrates that to achieve any meaningful interpretation of an irrational picture, there must be a receptive attitude, coupled with a cultural and intellectual appreciation, since its truth, goodness, and beauty possess the qualities of disjunction relationships, utter confusion, and unmotivated action. Surrealism is a modernistic movement in literature and art that aims at creatively expressing the subconscious mind by using images in an playful way.

To interest high school students, I would engage them in a lesson on surrealism, in order to inspire them to produce expressive artwork in a remarkably unique style. In the lesson, I would bring along some inspirational videos from artists such as Salvador Dali, preferably, A Soft Self-Portrait, where he shows and explains some of his work and performance acts.

It is valuable to present the students with a general representation of what is involved in surrealistic drawing. In this case, a surrealistic sample such as the one below would be very beneficial in stirring, exciting and probably capturing the students’ interest in surrealism.

Surrealistic drawing - sea waves the size of a building around a road with cars.

After the lesson, I would take them on a field trip to exhibitions involved in the art of surrealism, especially for contemporary artists, as a way to further their interest. For instance, there is a Student surrealist Art Exhibition that demonstrates the work of Pinellas county and Hillsborough high school students.

I would then encourage the students to engage in drawing projects, drawing their inspiration from life, the imagination, studying, or imitating the works of other established surrealistic artists, such as, Dali. I would consequently have the students choose from a collection of images, what they would love to demonstrate, and choose a theme, such as weather, from which a rough draft of expressive combined images would thus be made.

By doing the above, it is possible that many students would at least demonstrate a liking for this form of art, by not only cultivating a receptive attitude towards surrealism in them , but also igniting and fueling a passion and zeal for the irrational, which, in fact, is the foundation of surrealism.

For high school students, it is imperative to give a creative and informative background, preferably one that offers a platform that addresses any of the prime concerns facing the world today.

In light of this, a bare and dry landscape background would be appropriate, with a view to addressing and stressing on the grave danger of environmental degradation, especially in today’s culture of intense industrialization. Presently, numerous companies rely on wood, mostly for construction and fuel purposes.

As such, there is a high global for wood and wood products, which leads to immense deforestation in forests all over the world. Because of this, there have been worldwide concerns of the threat global warming, and its disastrous consequences, with governments all over the world advocating for intense recuperation and sustenance of the world’s forest cover.

Consequently, such a background is very functional, since students will employ surrealism to depict the disastrous consequences of ignoring the importance of the environment and environmental sustainability. Using the background below, students will thus employ creative surrealism, with an aim of helping to admonish today’s global culture of over reliance on wood and wood products.

Surrealistic drawing of threat global warming - cracked earth from drought
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1. IvyPanda. "Disjointed Images in the "Un Chien Andalou" Film." March 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/un-chien-andalou/.


IvyPanda. "Disjointed Images in the "Un Chien Andalou" Film." March 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/un-chien-andalou/.


IvyPanda. 2022. "Disjointed Images in the "Un Chien Andalou" Film." March 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/un-chien-andalou/.


IvyPanda. (2022) 'Disjointed Images in the "Un Chien Andalou" Film'. 26 March.

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