Jul 29, 2010

Luis Buñuel on Film and the Subconscious

To commemorate Luis Buñuel's death in 1983, here is an evocative piece he wrote about film and the subconscious:

In the hands of a free spirit the film is a magnificent and dangerous weapon. It is the superlative medium through which to express the world of thought, feeling, and instinct. The creative handling of film images is such that, among all means of human expression, its way of functioning is most reminiscent of the work of the mind during sleep. A film is like an involuntary imitation of a dream. Brunius points out how the darkness that slowly settles over a movie theater is equivalent to the act of closing the eyes. Then, on the screen, as within the human being, the nocturnal voyage into the unconscious begins. The device of fading allows images to appear and disappear as in a dream; time and space become more flexible, shrinking and expanding at will; chronological order and the relative values of time duration no longer correspond to reality; cyclical action can last a few minutes or several centuries; shifts from slow motion to accelerated motion heighten the impact of each.

The  cinema seems to have been invented to express the life of the subconscious, the roots of which penetrate poetry so deeply.
From Elements of Film by Lee R. Bobker, HBJ 1974. 



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