Week 3: Searcher Post

This is Man Ray’s Emak-Bakia (1926). This film contains a lot of mechanical repetitive motions that reminds me of the patterns in Le Retour à la Raison (1923). The sculptures that appear are by Pablo Picasso. In addition, the film’s cinematography style is precisely how Man Ray would shoot still objects and people.

Man Ray and the other artists’ films we watched in class have many aspects in common, like the fascination with machines, abstract patterns or visual repetition. Man Ray is also an influential figure for Surrealism movement. He worked as the cinematographer of René Clair’s Entr’acte (1924) and left a notable signature on the film’s visuals. It should be interesting to explore another film by him.

Since we are going to explore Dali’s work, it should be evident that the video I linked is a piece of work from his hand. This is a sequence from his collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock in the film Spellbound (1945). I believe this video holds value in understanding Dali’s artistic and aesthetic tendencies. The film is deemed a psychoanalytic thriller that delves into the subconscious and how it affects real life. Generally, the film’s significance lies in psychoanalysis, which is what we need to use to comprehend Dali’s films.

Dali’s artistic endeavors, encompassing paintings and films, exhibit profound connections to the subconscious and dreams. The film sequence can provide a fundamental view of his distinct artistic style that resembles his paintings. Numerous visual elements also repetitive in his paintings appear in the film. For example, eyes, wheels, and distortion. Interestingly, different from in Un Chien Andalou (1929) Dali decides to cut the eyeball with scissors instead of “slicing” it up. This film sequence losses some of Dali’s sharp and shocking approach utilized in Un Chien Andalou but takes on a milder method to embrace the irrational dream.

At last, there is an anecdote: Hitchcock was hoping for vividness for dreams, however, as he told François Truffaut in 1962, “But Dalí had some strange ideas; he wanted a statue to crack like a shell falling apart, with ants crawling all over it, and underneath, there would be Ingrid Bergman, covered by the ants! It just wasn’t possible”.

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