Does “Un Chien Andalou” fail to achieve its stated goal? Does it fail to shock and disgust the audiences? Most certainly. The French public saw it as a masterpiece of the avant-garde movement, and the movie failed to generate as much controversy as its successor L’age d’or, but was the failure on part of the filmmakers who failed to sufficiently insult the bourgeois, who in fact adored it, or was it a failure on part of the audience to understand the movie’s hidden message.
I think even today when people around the world see this movie, they fail to understand its inspiration – its creator utter disgust with all middle-class values. Perhaps it is a failure on part of the director who could not convey his message correctly, despite subconsciously engaging and shocking the audiences. Having said so, one cannot afford to ignore the movie’s contribution to modern cinema and to the art of story-telling.
Unfortunately, both Buñuel and Dalí were dissatisfied with the response that the film generated. Contrary to their claims, the film did carry a message, as it was primarily meant as an insult to middleclass values and its understanding of art. Referring to the audiences as an inane herd, Buñuel felt angry when people tried to find beauty and poetry in the scenes of “Un Chien Andalou” instead of seeing it for what it was – “a desperate impassioned call for murder?” (Taléns 86)
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