The Rooftop Cinema programme of open-air movie screenings at Bangkok’s Arcadia bar continues on 8th and 15th January with the short Surrealist film Un chien andalou (‘an Andalusian dog’). Luis Buñuel’s silent classic was previously shown at the 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival, and six years ago it was the unexpected inspiration for a Thai public-information campaign about the dangers of mosquitos. The campaign—“ยุงลาย 1 ตัว ออกลูกได้ 500 ตัว”/‘1 mosquito can give birth to 500 offspring’—recreated the film’s famous shot of ants emerging from a man’s hand, replacing the ants with mosquitos.
Un chien andalou is the foundation stone of transgressive cinema. Despite being almost a hundred years old, it begins with one of the most shocking sequences in film history, and one shot in particular (featuring a dead cow’s eye) is still almost impossible to see without flinching. Buñuel deliberately avoided a chronological or otherwise conventional narrative structure, seeking to create a dream-logic that defied rational analysis. After its premiere in Paris in 1929, the film secured Buñuel and his co-director Salvador Dalí’s immediate membership of the French Surrealist group founded by André Breton.