Lucia Piva/ September 13, 2015/ Film History 1/ Luis Buñuel and Surrealism
Surrealism in movies never became a dominant medium, unlike in poetry, fiction, painting or photography; however, Luis Buñuel´s surrealistic films did, and are even today, some of the greatest films of all time. We consider Luis Buñuel the founder of surrealist cinema, but what events influenced him to be the famous director he is known to be? How did his films influence the industry?
Buñuel was born in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1900. He went to a Jesuit school and, at 17, he entered to the University of Madrid, where he met two men who would mark his life forever, the painter Salvador Dalí and the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. Besides becoming intimates, they influenced each other’s art; in fact, they are all part of the Spanish Surrealist avant-garde. During this period, Buñuel became a talented hypnotist; that is why he always stated that movies were a kind of hypnotism. He went to Paris in 1925 and started working as an assistant for Jean Epstein, a…show more content… As in most Bunuel movies, the Catholic Church is represented as cruel and lacking in compassion for the poor people and, to make it clear to the audience, he uses juxtaposition, one of his favorite cinematic tools. He goes from the more hopeless scenes of impoverished people to presenting the lushness of a convent. Las Hurdes is a movie about a region and people that are no longer remembered. With its shocking images, like the decapitated chickens and countless shots of disease and death, Buñuel obligates the audience to see “hell on Earth.” Because of the radical critique of both church and state, the film was banned by the Republican governments and Franco. After this movie, Buñuel didn’t direct another film until