Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
The House of Incest

Un Chien Andalou

It may only be 16 minutes long but it's better entertainment than most films these days. It was Luis Buñuel's first film and he shot it in collaboration with Salvador Dalí, with each subsequently claiming credit for the best parts. Released in 1929 in Paris, it managed to run for eight months in private showings.

The previous year, Georges Bataille had published his equally wild novel Story of the Eye (Histoire de l'oeil) - necessarily under a pseudonym. As the two main characters travel through Spain to Andalucia, they indulge in every sexual transgression Bataille can think of, with eyes playing a significant role as sexual fetishes. This has prompted speculation that Buñuel and Dali got the idea of slicing the eye in Un chien andalou from the novel. I agree with this speculation and think that they were in part mocking Bataille, along with everyone else of course.


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