Friday, 10 September 2010

Un Chein Andalou (Luis Bunuel, 1929)

Un Chien Andalou (1929) poster

Cast: Simone Mareuil, Pierre Batcheff, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali

Summary: A surrealistic film (best summary ever)

Genre: Short

For a piece of homework from my Film Studies class I was asked to analyse a particular scene within this film in terms of Freud’s Oedipal Theory. The scene I had to analyse began with the main character lying on the bed when his mother walks in and ends with the same character dying in a park.

Freud’s oedipal theory says that in order to achieve maturity and become a man he must come to accept the symbolism of the death of the father and the displacement from the attachment of the mother, to the attachment to another woman.

At the beginning of the scene the boy looks feminised and in an infantalalised state and the woman who enters the room represents the mother. At 3.00 in the morning a figure (who represents the father) comes to the door, at this the boy shows fear and concern at hearing the father come home. The father is angry that the boy is getting all of the mother’s love and the boy feels as though the father is trying to take his mother away from him.

The boy continues to look frightened as the father begins to shout and berate him aggressively, giving him advice to get out of bed and violently forcing him to be a man making the boy look powerless and weak. The father strips his son of his childlike feminine clothes removing his element of childhood while the boy tries to hold onto his childhood by keeping his strap. Here the conflict between father and the son has turned into aggression.
The first moment of rebellion comes when the boy shakes his head telling his father no, unsuccessful he is sent to stand against the wall like a naughty child. The boy resents his father as he is going through adolescence where he is neither man nor a boy.

The inter-title of 16 years ago shows the build-up and release of tension leading to the killing of the father, this is what must happen in order for the boy to become a man.
The father gives the boy books to represent the giving of knowledge, the father walks away and the son rejects the fathers love and using the knowledge that was given to him, he turns it into weapons. The son calls his father back and shows his dominance before shooting him.
It then cuts to the park showing the father trying to cling onto the mother who then fades away.

My Rating: 3/10
One Final Word: Huh?

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