The first time I watched this, I was 6. I remember sitting in the lounge, playing with my cars on the floor, and my parents had some friends over, their kids as involved with the toys as their parents with the TV. The parents seemed a little excited, because of some movie they were going to watch.
I remember the eye scene. It switched back and forth between the cloud slowly gliding across the moon, and a shot of Simone Mareuil, someone grabbing her face. Then the razor, (something I had already learnt to be dangerous, painful) slicing her eye, spilling it's contents.
I was mesmerized, simply by the fact that she seemed to know what was going to happen, yet she showed no emotion. No pain. What could have made her accept this, freely?
I was so intrigued by the hand spewing ants, the fondling of breasts, the dismembered hand on the street, that the next day, I watched the movie three times, while the parents were out.
Each time I watched it, I grew more frustrated. The books I was reading (The Pirates, Peter and Jane, Asterix, Tintin) had a beginning, middle and end. And characters that were there in the beginning, were usually still there in the middle and end.
In the movie, I felt completely lost. People were appearing, disappearing, changing shape, for absolutely no reason. Things were happening which, although easy on the eye (The pulling of the piano, donkeys and priests was a simple enough scene, easy enough to assimilate), they were not necessarily easy on the mind.
As I grew up, I thought about the film on various occasions, although I had no idea what it was called, who made it, where... why....
It was only when I was 19, leafing through a "History of Cinema" book, did I finally discover it again. "Un Chien Andalou". I finally had a name for the film.
Through the internet (what else?) I got my hands on the film again when I was 21. I was like a 6 year old on Xmas morning. About to open the present I had been aching to receive for so long.
I thought that maybe I was wrong all these years. Maybe it was a standard boring black and white film. Maybe I had just remembered random bits of the film, and over the years, pieced them into a nonsensical stream of images. That's why none of it made sense.
I watched it. I savored it again.
I felt the same towards the movie as I had felt when I was six. Mesmerized. Excited. Confused. Intrigued.
It had grown up. As I had done.