The third program held by the Film Society began with Mikhail Tsekhanovsky’s Mail, a charmingly inventive Soviet animation about the postal system (Frank Lloyd Wright once screened it for Walt Disney as an illustration of the genre’s potential), and Athletic Movements Analyzed, an educational Pathé Exchange two-reeler from 1916 that examined its subject in slow-motion detail. These titles set the stage for the Surrealist main event, and the Film Society program notes began with a statement of purpose from Dalí: “My general idea in writing the scenario for L’Age d’or with Buñuel has been to present the straight and pure course of ‘conduct’ of a human being pursuing love contrary to the ignoble ideals of humanity, patriotism, and all the miserable mechanisms of reality.” The film, from the dueling scorpions of its opening sequence to its final, Sadean vignette, continues to thrill with its wild disjunctions and indelible, oneiric imagery.
Mail. 1929. USSR. Directed by Mikhail Tsekhanovsky. 35mm. Russian intertitles; English subtitles. 15 min.
Print courtesy of Gosfilmofond
L’Age d’or. 1930. France. Directed by Luis Buñuel. Screenplay by Buñuel, Salvador Dalí. With Gaston Modot, Lya Lys. 35mm. In French; English subtitles. 61 min.