The Rear-View Mirror: Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!

It still gets me, that scene. I think I must have been ten or so, and there was nothing to prepare me for what would come on the telly. No-one in my family was any kind of art-house movie nut, so it must have been a coincidence that Buñuel’s short Un Chien Andalou was on. And then that razor cuts through the woman’s eye. It took me days to recover. Not many other movie moments have stayed with me because of their violence, and none as long as this one. Continue reading

The man who loved fish (but did they love him back?)

Okay, today’s going to be short on words by me – and long on irony/hypocrisy/YouTube videos! (Well, I did say I loved YouTube, I don’t just hate it…) I’ve been looking at my book of Sandman dustcovers, and I remembered how much I like Dave McKean’s work. Not all of it – I was less than keen (yes, I did misspell that as ‘kean’ first) on Mirrormask, for instance – but much of it is beautiful and disturbing to me. Most of all his illustrations for Neil Gaiman’s Mr. Punch, probably.

The man himself - Mr Punch

So this is where I shut up and give you two YouTube videos. One is by McKean himself, and it combines my love of his work and of Shakespeare’s writing; the other is by Jan Svankmajer, an obvious influence on McKean. Don’t watch the latter if you’re easily freaked out – or if you like your animation quick and frantic.

The beginning of Svankmajer’s Alice

I hope you enjoyed these as much as I do…

And another evocative McKean work…