Surrealism and Film Essay

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Surrealism is a movement that built off of the burgeoning look into art, psychology, and the workings of the mind. Popularly associated with the works of Salvador Dali, Surrealist art takes imagery and ideology and creates correlation where there is none, creating new forms of art. In this essay I will look to explore the inception of the surrealist movement, including the Surrealist Manifesto, to stress the importance of these artists and their work in the 20th century and beyond. I also will look to films from our European Cinema course to express how films incorporate the influence of surrealism both intentionally and unintentionally. To begin, we will look at the ideals and influences that led to the formation of surrealist ideals,…show more content…
Coupled with the use of unusual concepts of artistic expression, as well as experiments in form and content, surrealism sought to exploit the unrealized and unexplored spaces of art in often shocking and controversial ways. Often inspired by the repression of unconscious observations, surrealist art and writing often contains no discernable organization or structure, and is open to the imagination and the “world of the private mind” (metmuseum), an antithesis of traditional art based on rationality, reason, and societal norms. These concepts were what the surrealists sought to upend in their manifesto, and thus much of their work, such as Rene Magritte’s "La Trahison des Images" or Marcel Duchamp’s “Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)” sought to “overturn the world view of scientific positivism, exposing the dogmatic conceptions of vision and language, the supposed guarantors of truth and being, as arbitrary, deceptive tools of modernity’s oppressive “rational” ideology” (sensesofcinema). Additionally, surrealism intended to capture “freedom” of the mind and imagination that modern logic and reason suppressed through constraints of social norms and expectations. These modern patterns of thought, in the eyes of surrealists, were influenced by social doctrine (surrealism lecture) and thus needed to be undermined in order to discover the true unconscious perception of reality

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