Le Surréalisme au DVD



A couple of years ago I found two books on the shelves of my local library, mirroring my own tastes and expectations in the movies.
The first one being Ado Kyrou’s Le Surréalisme au Cinéma and the other one Paul Hammond’s collection of surrealist writings on the Cinema The Shadow and its Shadow.
Since then I collected lots of other material concerning this theme and I found it striking, how many of the films that the Surrealists particularly revered came out on DVD recently. Hammond is convinced that the Surrealists interest for film was ultimately linked to the cinematic experience itself and that the “video samizdat is a poor second and encourages the further privatization of experience”.
Although I was once an avid “cinéaste” myself, I only agree in part. Of course, watching a movie, regardless of its content, in a film theatre bears an uncanny resemblance to the dream experience. But it was on TV, that I first encountered films like Gun Crazy or Franju’s Le Sang des Bêtes. The experience of seeing these films on a small screen was powerful enough to mark me for life. At that time, I was seventeen, and it was very unlikely that I would have gone intentionally to a film theatre to see them.
In an interview he gave in 1987, Alain Resnais stated, that the only thing he deemed necessary to fully experience a movie – besides the quality of the sound and image –  is a screen with a width of one meter. “As long as a close-up is smaller than your own head…you’ll look at the screen in a condescendent way”.


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