Birth of Surrealism (02:03)
Evolving from Realism, Surrealism uses the power of dreams as the driving force for the creative process. Other early 1900 modernist movements include Expressionism and Cubism.
Backlash of World War I (01:54)
WWI, a war fought without modern tools and medicine, created huge sectors of artists, politicians, and bohemians from the middle class. Art manifested violent anti-social feelings.
Influences of Karl Mark and Sigmund Freud (01:45)
The communist revolution sparked by Karl Marx's writings and Sigmund Freud's theories influenced artists like the Surrealists to challenge the established order.
Dadaism: The Godfather of Surrealism (03:22)
Founded in Zurich under the leadership of Tristan Tzara, Dadaism opposed the political order responsible for WWI. It mocked convention, instead choosing an automatic approach to poetry.
Dadaism and Film (02:24)
Film became the idea art form for Dadaism since watching film is similar to a dream experience. Dadaist films include D. W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" and Man Ray's "The Return to Reason."
Dadaism, Film, and Other Modern Styles (02:27)
Other avant-garde directors were painters. Fernand Leger and Dudley Murphy's "Ballet Mecanique" captured Cubism on film. "Entr'acte" mixed meaningless images with scenes of persecution.
Birth of Surrealism (03:28)
Anemic Cinema, another creation of Dadaism, transitioned into Surrealism. Andre Breton broke with Dadaism by taking experimentation further. Breton defines surrealism in his "Manifesto."
Philosophies and Films of Surrealism (03:30)
Freud's theories became the starting point for Surrealism. Directors Germaine Dulac and Man Ray used Surrealist imagery. The social aspect of cinema fit the Surrealists' philosophy.
Spanish Surrealism Film (05:15)
Combining two dream sequences, Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali produced "Un Chien Andalou," a tale of confusing identity. Ironically, classical techniques created the most Surrealist images.
Bunuel and Dali's Revolutionary Film (02:45)
Bunuel and Dali's "L'Age d'Or" achieved the pinnacle of Surrealist film. The film attacks social order with eroticism and anti-clergyism. It contains a series of images without any logical connection.
Surrealism and Sound in Films (03:53)
L'Age d'Or influenced avant-garde cinema in America. Sound added to the cost of filmmaking. Bunuel abandoned Surrealist metaphor with his social documentary. WWII led to Surrealism's fall.
Surrealism's Legacy (03:23)
Censorship and persecution led many Surrealists to America, where they influenced movies such as "Spellbound," directors like David Lynch, ads, and television shows such as "The Twilight Zone."
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