August 8, 2013

Check Out This Excellent 1987 BBC Doc on Surrealist Film Hosted by David Lynch

alejandro_jodorowsky_holy_mountain_black_alchemist_fusionOne of the richest veins in indie cinema is, of course, surrealism. Most surrealist films don't reach a wide audience, but I can remember watching Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain for the first time when I was 17 or so and being knocked out, though I couldn't quite figure out why (if you haven't seen it, you really should.) The Seventh Art has a 1987 BBC documentary on surrealist film, and it's hosted by cinema's great modern surrealist/mainstream director, David Lynch. Click below to watch the documentary and have your mind blown (as well as educated).

Having a storied history, from the inception of the cinema to today, surrealist films can be loosely defined as dreamlike films that follow their own, internal logic, works assembled to create an effect on the viewer just as rich as any narrative film, but through collision of image and sound rather than traditional narrative.

Two of the most influential surrealist films (and two of my favorites) are the 1929 collaboration between Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali, Un Chien Andalou (the excellent Pixies' song Debaser was inspired by the film.) If you haven't seen the sliced eyeball yet, get ready:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DZ1x-xBtUM

And Chris Marker's La Jetée, a surrealist sci-fi-influenced short that was the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezkAeQuUqCg

This documentary, produced in 1987 for the BBC, is a look into the history of the genre, presented by David Lynch in his always unique way (it's worth watching for him alone.) It's a must see for fans of the surreal, as well as anyone wishing to broaden their knowledge of film (or just fans of David Lynch's inimitable personal style):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T08Sp7KDCME

And Part Two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfEPlDxoI_w

What do you think? Are you a fan of the surreal, whether as a genre unto itself or when incorporated into more narrative work? What influence do you think surrealism has had on film in general, regardless of genre?

NOTE: We originally referred to the doc as being from 1975, when clearly this is not the case, one glaring reason being that in 1975 David Lynch was not yet the David Lynch we know today. We apologize for the error.

[via The Seventh Art]

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8 Comments

Considering Eraserhead didn't come out until 1977 it would be quite a coup for the BBC to foresee Lynch's talent in 1975. Might want to correct the title.

August 9, 2013

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Colin

This is actually from 1987 not 1975

August 9, 2013

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Sorry about that. Corrected. Thanks!

August 9, 2013

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V Renée
Managing Editor
Writer/Director

ahh... Arena documentaries were so great.

August 9, 2013

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mr torquay

"Click below to watch the documentary and have your mind blown (as well as educated)."

Ever so slightly patronising.

August 9, 2013

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Fresno Bob

I would say enthusiastic rather than patronizing.

August 9, 2013

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Colin

Fresno Bob knows all and yet still reads article

August 15, 2013

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Ryryrryry

大人気アイテムお買い得

August 21, 2013

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