Un perro andaluz: the connection with Federico García Lorca “Cuando en los años treinta estuve en Nueva York, Ángel del Río me contó que Federico, que había estado también por allí, le había dicho: >” - Luis Buñuel
Photograph by Man Ray (1928)Photograph by Man Ray (1928)
The first Surrealist Manifesto (1924) – André Breton “We are still living under the reign of logic: this, of course, is what I have been driving at. But in this day and age logical methods are applicable only to solving problems of secondary interest.” “Surrealism does not allow those who devote themselves to it to forsake it whenever they like. There is every reason to believe that it acts on the mind very much as drugs do; like drugs, it creates a certain state of need and can push man to frightful revolts.”
The second Surrealist Manifesto, André Breton (1929) “It is living and ceasing to live which are imaginary solutions. Existence is elsewhere.” “The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd.”
Ceci n’est pas un pipe (1928-1929) – Rene Magritte
René Magritte La Durée poignardée (Time Transfixed) 1938
Rene Magritte, El espejo falso (1935)Rene Magritte, El espejo falso (1935)
THE EYES (DON’T) HAVE IT “The faithful alliance between the eye and the body came under severe attack with the oncoming of the first world war. The effects of trench warfare on peoples’ perceptions caused them to question and reevaluate the confidence they had once put in their sense of vision. The experience of trench warfare was characterized by confusion due to not being able to see the enemy, indistinguishable shadows, gas- induced haze, and sudden spurts of blinding light. […] The directive of this movement [Surrealism] was to restore a unified vision that would coincide with what was was desired for the emerging postwar society” – Martin Jay, “The Disenchantment of the Eye: Surrealism and the Crisis of Ocularcentrism”
15 / 12/ 192915 / 12/ 1929 I DO NOT SEE THE HIDDEN (WOMAN) IN THE FOREST
BUÑUEL AND SURREALISMBUÑUEL AND SURREALISM “Surrealism taught me that life has a moral meaning that man cannot ignore. Through surrealism I discovered for the first time that man is not free. I used to believe that man’s freedom was unlimited, but in surrealism I saw a discipline to be followed. It was one of the great lessons of my life, a marvelous, poetic step forward” – Luis Buñuel (qtd. in Harcourt 3).
France: 1925-1931 Spain: 1932-1937 USA: 1938-1945 Mexico: 1946-1965 Spain: 1961; 1970 France: 1963-1977 "an iconoclast, moralist, and revolutionary who was a leader of avant-garde surrealism in his youth and a dominant international movie director half a century later” - NYTimes obituary (1983)
HISTORICAL CONTEXT:HISTORICAL CONTEXT: SPAIN: 1886 (1902) -1931: King Alphonse XIII (“La Restauración”) 1923-1930: DICTATORSHIP – Miguel Primo de Rivera 1931-1936: The Second Republic 1936-1939: The Spanish Civil War (military rebellion after the 1936 election) 1939-1975: Dictatorship (Francisco Franco) WORLDWIDE: 1914-1918: WWI (“la Gran Guerra”) Allied Powers Central Powers Neutral countries
Las Hurdes y su posición geográficaLas Hurdes y su posición geográfica La Alberca (Salamanca) Las Hurdes (Extremadura)
Historical Details (Sebastian Balfour)Historical Details (Sebastian Balfour) 1923-1930: ‘Prime Minister’ : Miguel Primo de Rivera 1931-1936: The Second Republic 1936-1939: Spanish Civil War “For its sympathizers […] the coming of the Republic heralded a historic shift in power and wealth from a small minority to the vast majority of society. […] The new government was thus entrusted with a huge burden of expectations” (Balfour 243). THE SECOND REPUBLIC IN SPAIN “Two overriding objectives: 1.transform a corrupt and unrepresentative political system into a pluralist democracy 2.carry out from above a programme of reforms to modernize Spanish society” (Balfour 245).
The problem with (social) realism?The problem with (social) realism? “Luis Buñuel’s documentary Las Hurdes: Tierra sin pan (1933), was commissioned by the first left-wing government of the Republic, but caused it only consternation. As D’Lugo observes: ‘the film’s depiction of poverty, hunger, and social backwardness of the rural Spanish region of Las Hurdes was perceived as offensive to the Spanish nation’. He adds ‘given the shift to the right in the general elections of 1933, there seemed very little chance that the film or its director would receive any support from official Spain’” - Núria Triana-Toribio (Spanish National Cinema 27)
La boca abierta: infección e interrupciónLa boca abierta: infección e interrupción Luis Buñuel, Las Hurdes Jacques-André Boiffard, “Bouche” (Documents)
“Luis Buñuel, Spaniard and Surrealist”“Luis Buñuel, Spaniard and Surrealist” “On the surface, the film (Tierra sin pan) attacks the existence of misery; more deeply it denounces the misery of existence…” Yet finally, once we have got over the effect of the film and paid tribute to the power of its steady passion, a disquieting question might suggest itself to us? For what is our relation to all of this? Indeed, what is Buñuel’s? Is Tierra sin pan the kind of film that invites social action or does it seem more like an expression of social despair?” (Peter Harcourt 9).
Georges Bataille, “The Mouth”Georges Bataille, “The Mouth”