Surrealism (see also avant-garde, underground cinema) A movement that dates back to the 1920s and which impacted on films of that time but which still has a small influence today – particularly in horror films. This movement, much influenced by Freud, strove to embody in art and poetry the irrational forces of dreams and the unconscious. Surrealist films are concerned with depicting the workings of the unconscious (perceived as irrational, excessive, grotesque, libidinal) and with the liberating force of unconscious desires and fantasy that are normally repressed.  Cinema Studies – Key Concepts



Notes from

Un Chien Andalou

Warning – the opening sequence contains disturbing images


An analysis

Film review

Comments – The Joy of Gore


Le Ballet Mécanique (1924, Fernand Leger) 

“A classic, pioneering, plotless experimental short with a barrage of rhythmic imagery: Spinning objects, pumping machinery, clockwork, a kaleidoscope of mechanical parts, and in the middle of all this there are people, rapidly changing faces, repetitive marching, smiling and walking, and geometrical figures. An industrial ballet of cinematography.”



Influences on later films

Hitchcock – Spellbound


Jan Svankmajer 1992Food


Jan Svankmajer  –  Alice 

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David Lynch – Erazerhead


Look out for the films written by Charlie Kaufmann such as:

Being John Malkovich

Despite not being able to earn a living solely through puppeteering, Craig loves his profession as it allows him to inhabit the skin of others. He begins to take the ability to inhabit the skin of others to the next level when he is forced to take a job as a file clerk for the off-kilter LesterCorp, located on the five-foot tall 7½ floor of a Manhattan office building. Behind one of the filing cabinets in his work area, Craig finds a hidden door which he learns is a portal into the mind of John Malkovich, the visit through the portal which lasts fifteen minutes after which the person is spit into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike. IMDB


See also:

Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind

A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.



Science of Sleep

Following the death of his father in Mexico, Stéphane Miroux, a shy insecure young man, agrees to come to Paris to draw closer to his widowed mother Christine. He lands a boring job at a calendar-making firm and falls in love with his charming neighbor Stéphanie. But conquering her is no bed of roses for the young man and the only solution he finds to put up with the difficulties he is going through is escape into a dream world…                IMDB


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