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Comically surreal: how Dali’s film with Marx brothers came to life

Lost screenplay by the Spanish surrealist and comedy stars recreated as a graphic novel after painstaking research

Giraffes on Horseback Salad, an improbable project dreamed up by the most unorthodox of creative talents, Salvador Dalí and the Marx Brothers, still features regularly on lists of the most tantalising movies never made.

But now the feature film that would have marked the only collaboration between the great Spanish surrealist and the most popular screen comedians of the era has finally come to life in the pages of a graphic novel.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Late Buñuel: Women, Surrealism, Power

  • MUBI
Obscure Objects of Desire: The Films of Luis Buñuel is showing March 12 – May 23, 2019 on Mubi in the United Kingdom.“Luis was a jealous macho. His wife had to be a kind-of child woman who had not matured,” said Jeanne Rucar, Luis Buñuel’s wife, summing up their marriage. Rucar’s personal note has surprising bearing on the director’s oeuvre. Vicious, dreamlike, sly, witty, deviant—Buñuel the artist was all those things. Besides colorful tales of his petit bourgeois upbringing and his ascetic adult life, what truly fascinates is his surrealism. Buñuel left Spain for Paris five years before Un chien andalou (1929), and the French Surrealists embraced his work (even thought he claimed not to know about them while conceiving his debut). L'âge d'or (1930), his second collaboration with Salvador Dalí, followed, to critical acclaim.What does this have to do with women? In her book on abstract expressionist art in New York,
See full article at MUBI »

‘Giraffes on Horseback Salad,’ Salvador Dalí’s Would-Be Marx Brothers Movie, Is Now a Graphic Novel

The Marx Brothers made 13 feature films throughout their one-of-a-kind career, but one they didn’t make continues to capture the interest of devoted fans. “Giraffes on Horseback Salad,” a would-be movie for the cinematic siblings written by none other than Salvador Dalí, was considered lost after being rejected by MGM. Josh Frank, artist Manuela Pertega, and Tim Heidecker have taken it upon themselves to adapt the story into a graphic novel.

The trio will unveil the project after a “Duck Soup” screening at the Quad later this month, and IndieWire has an exclusive excerpt to whet your appetite in the meantime.

Here’s the synopsis: “A businessman named Jimmy (played by Harpo) is drawn to the mysterious Surrealist Woman, whose very presence changes humdrum reality into Dalí-esque fantasy. With the help of Groucho and Chico, Jimmy seeks to join her fantastical world — but forces of normalcy threaten to end their romance.
See full article at Indiewire »

Lost Marx Brothers Salvador Dalí Film Graphically Novelized

Tony Sokol Mar 2, 2019

Graphic novel Giraffes on Horseback Salad puts together the Salvador Dalí Marx Brothers film that was never made.

The iconic surrealist artist Salvador Dalí was obsessed with the anarchic harpist Harpo Marx and wrote a screenplay for what he hoped would become a Marx Brother movie. Or Dalí didn't hope, as he considered the screenplay art enough. The upcoming graphic novel Giraffes on Horseback Salad pieces together what some papers have called one of the greatest movies never made. Written by Josh Frank, Giraffes on Horseback Salad comes out from Quirk Publishers on March 19.

"Grab some popcorn and take a seat," reads the official book synopsis. "The curtain is about to rise on a film like no other! But first, the real-life backstory: Giraffes on Horseback Salad was a Marx Brothers film written by modern art icon Salvador Dalí, who’d befriended Harpo. Rejected by MGM, the script was thought lost forever.
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ Trailer Gives the Spanish Icon an Imaginative Biopic

Luis Buñuel has received the biopic treatment in a way that befits the visionary Spanish artist. Based on a graphic novel, Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles conveys the titular auteur’s hardship to complete his second film (Las Hurdes aka Land without Bread after the backlash of his first film L’age D’or by religious condemnation. From Gkids, the distribution studio that has brought many of Studio Ghibli’s films to the states, they’ve now released a new trailer.

Director/noted visual effects artist Salvador Simó wants young burgeoning artists to connect with this film as he conveys, “But we didn’t want to tell a story a story about Luis Buñuel after 60 years. It was what was Luis Buñuel when he was 32, so one of the things that caught my eye was that he was a young director trying to find his own voice….It
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ Trailer: The Surrealist Finally Stars in an Animated Feature

  • Indiewire
GKids has released the trailer for “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles,” an animated film about the making of the revered surrealist’s second film. The singular auteur behind such all-timers as “Un Chien Andalou” and “That Obscure Object of Desire” might not seem like the most likely protagonist of an animated feature, but try telling that to director but Salvador Simó as you avail yourself of the trailer below.

Here’s the synopsis: “In a stranger-than-fiction tale befitting the master surrealist filmmaker, ‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ tells the true story of how Buñuel made his second movie. Paris, 1930. Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel are the main figures of the Surrealist movement, but Buñuel is left penniless after a scandal surrounding his first film [with a solo director credit] ‘L’Age d’Or.’ However, his good friend, the sculptor Ramón Acín, buys a lottery ticket with the promise that, if he wins,
See full article at Indiewire »

Gkids Drops First Full North American Trailer for ‘Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Gkids Drops First Full North American Trailer for ‘Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ (Exclusive)
Madrid — In 1925, Luis Buñuel, son of one of the richest men in the Spanish region of Aragón, went to Paris to make films with Salvador Dalí. The results were two surrealist shorts, 1929’s “Un Chien Andalou,” his passport to membership of André Breton’s surrealists, and “L’Age d’Or,” banned by the Paris police.

The movies are galvanized by the joie de vivre of the young directors, but as much Dalí in their daring as Buñuel.

By 1933, however, when Buñuel returned from shooting he 29-minute documentary “Las Hurdes” (aka “Land Without Bread”) filmed in a region of Western Spain, one of the world’s greatest film directors has found his own creative voice, an explosive mix of surrealism and social critique.

Salvador Simó’s “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles,” sold by Latido, lead-produced by Manuel Cristobal and acquired for North America by New York’s Gkids, the
See full article at Variety »

Sundance Film Review: ‘Mike Wallace Is Here’

  • Variety
Sundance Film Review: ‘Mike Wallace Is Here’
“You’re a dinosaur,” Bill O’Reilly insists to veteran “60 Minutes” journalist Mike Wallace in the opening scene of Avi Belkin’s documentary “Mike Wallace is Here.” Then O’Reilly says something worse: “I’m your son.”

Illegitimate, maybe. Both TV anchors made their bones asking confrontational — even rude — questions. The difference is Wallace wanted to hear the answers. In the clip, Wallace is so irritated by O’Reilly’s analogy, and his politicized grandstanding, that the then-octogenarian snaps, “That’s not an interview, that’s a lecture.”

Still, Wallace, who died in 2012 at the age of 93, was a killer. In a world of softball televised sit-downs, his inquisitions were more like high-wire jousts. Over his seven-decade career, he challenged the Imperial Wizard of the Kkk on his claims of being non-violent, prodded mobster Mickey Cohen to count how many people he killed, grilled Vladimir Putin if Russia was really a democracy,
See full article at Variety »

Jonas Mekas Dies: Avant-Garde Filmmaker And Champion Was 96

  • Deadline
Jonas Mekas Dies: Avant-Garde Filmmaker And Champion Was 96
Jonas Mekas, a towering figure in New York’s avant-garde film scene and a pioneering force for film preservation, died today at age 96. His death was announced by Anthology Film Archives, the still-active archive and theater he cofounded in Manhattan’s East Village 48 years ago.

“Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early this morning,” Anthology Film Archives wrote in a statement posted on Instagram today. “He was at home with family. He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.”

Director and friend Martin Scorsese said, in a lengthy statement released today (read it below), said, “Jonas Mekas did and meant so much to so many people in the world of cinema that you’d need a day and a night to just begin. He was a prophet. He was an impresario. He was a provocateur in the truest and most fundamental sense – he provoked people into new ways
See full article at Deadline »

Jonas Mekas, Experimental Film Icon, Dies at 96

Jonas Mekas, Experimental Film Icon, Dies at 96
Jonas Mekas, the avant-garde film icon who is widely considered one of the most important figures in experimental film history, has died at 96. Mekas’ passing was confirmed on social media by the Anthology Film Archives. The director co-founded the New York City center for film preservation and exhibition in 1970.

“Dear friends. Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early this morning,” Anthology Film Archives wrote on Instagram. “He was at home with family. He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.”

Mekas, often referred to as “the godfather of American avant-garde cinema,” got his start curating experimental films in New York City in the 1950s. Along with his brother Adolfas, he co-founded the American film magazine Film Culture in 1954, and by the 1960s he was directing his own features, including “Guns of the Trees” (1962) and “The Brig” (1964). The latter title won the Venice Film Festival’s Grand Prix. Mekas was also a notable cinematographer,
See full article at Indiewire »

Gkids Acquires ‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Gkids Acquires ‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ (Exclusive)
Buenos Aires — Gkids, the U.S. distributor of ten Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations including this year’s “The Breadwinner,” has acquired North American rights to Spaniard Salvador Simó’s “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles.” Gkids will release the film theatrically next year.

The animated feature is sold worldwide by Spain’s Latido Films; the all-rights deal was negotiated by Gkids’ CEO and founder Eric Beckman and Latido’s Antonio Saura.

The acquisition comes after “Buñuel” world premiered at this year’s Gkids co-run Animation Is Film Festival in Los Angeles, snagging a Special Jury Prize for its innovative handling of unexpected subject matter and positive reviews.

“Frankly, it was a brilliant choice on the part of director Salvador Simo to use such an expressionistic medium [as animation] to examine how surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel bent reality to his own ends in the making of 1933 documentary “Las Hurdes” (aka “Land
See full article at Variety »

From Beyoncé to Sorry to Bother You: the new age of Afro-surrealism

From psychedelic sketch shows to far-out satire, black artists are expressing the absurdity of life in a racist society by embracing the disturbing and bizarre

There he was, dangling into the void. Sinking, arms outstretched, helplessly clawing at the air. Jordan Peele’s satirical horror Get Out introduced us to the “sunken place”, a purgatory where Daniel Kaluuya’s character is trapped by body-snatching white liberals. As otherworldly as the Salvador Dalí-designed dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, it was the scene that planted Afro-surrealism firmly in the mainstream.

It also symbolised the revival of a genre in which strangeness and blackness not only co-exist but are impossible to separate. In recent years we’ve had Atlanta, a show its creator Donald Glover proudly called a “black Twin Peaks”, and a host of film-makers including Kahlil Joseph, Arthur Jafa and Jenn Nkiru, who have given a hallucinatory edge
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sex, Meat, Art, Sex Meets Art: Close-Up on "Female Human Animal"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Josh Appignanesi's Female Human Animal (2018) is showing in November and December, 2018 in most countries.Substituting the sub- of “subconscious” with the sur- of “surrealism,” Josh Appignanesi’s new genre-bending documentary is a meditative exploration of psychic visuality. Shot on video, the film follows novelist Chloe Aridjis, as she curates a retrospective at Tate Liverpool on Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), a little known British surrealist who spent most of her life in Mexico. In the beginning of the film, the observative camera lingers on Chloe’s professional encounters with a comforting impartiality. But later the camera becomes a tool of intimation, as her infatuation with a mysterious man spirals down to the most abstract base of human desire. The presence of the camera provides in turn a grasp of reality and a descent into a dream-like state. Female Human Animal
See full article at MUBI »

Animation Is Film Review: ‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’

  • Variety
Even in the endlessly eccentric annals of independent animation — where the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” took flight and Ralph Bakshi tripped out amid jive-talking rabbits and X-rated cats — “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles” is an oddity: a feature-length cartoon about the making of a 27-minute documentary. Frankly, it was a brilliant choice on the part of director Salvador Simo to use such an expressionistic medium to examine how surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel bent reality to his own ends in the making of 1933 documentary “Las Hurdes” (aka “Land Without Bread”).

Of course, animation later proved fertile ground for Buñuel’s friend — and fellow surrealist — Salvador Dalí (who designed “Destino” for Disney), seeing as the hand-drawn form is uniquely suited to what André Breton described as the surrealists’ aim: “to resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality.” As many have observed about the medium,
See full article at Variety »

‘Yellow Submarine’: A Dazzling Revival Everyone Should See (Especially the New Leaders of Pixar)

  • Variety
‘Yellow Submarine’: A Dazzling Revival Everyone Should See (Especially the New Leaders of Pixar)
Just about every animated classic, from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to “Spirited Away,” from “Toy Story” to “Persepolis,” from “Fritz the Cat” to “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” hits a ruling visual style and sticks to it. But there was a moment 50 years ago when one movie cartoon got high, floating above the rules and over the cracked psychedelic rainbow.

Has there ever been an animated feature as deliriously infectious, as blissed out on its eye-candy surrealism, or as sheerly madly gorgeous as “Yellow Submarine”?

The Beatles’ celebrated cartoon feature, directed by the Canadian animator George Dunning (who had overseen the Beatles’ weekly cartoon series for ABC-tv), came out in 1968, and it’s remarkable to consider that in all the years since, no mainstream animated feature has come close to matching — or even trying to match — its majestically trippy pop-art dazzle. If “Yellow Submarine” is a movie you grew up with,
See full article at Variety »

Film Review: ‘Love, Cecil’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘Love, Cecil’
“Love, Cecil” demonstrates how a documentary can be a magical experience. I went into the film barely having heard of Cecil Beaton, who (as I learned) was one of the most incandescent photographers who ever lived. The reason I state my ignorance in such blunt terms — hey, I’m a film critic, not a photography scholar — is that for me, as I suspect will be the case for many others, the movie’s splendor lies in the sensation of being washed over by an elated experience of discovery.

The documentary tells the story of Beaton’s life, and it’s a moving and majestic one that spans many of the revolutions in perception that defined the 20th century. Yet “Love, Cecil” is rooted in the mind-bendingly eclectic splendor of Beaton’s images. He was a visionary fashion photographer, a fearless journalist of war, an indelible chronicler of celebrity, and — through
See full article at Variety »

Justice League’s Ezra Miller to Play Young Salvador Dalí in New Biopic

After starring as Barry Allen aka The Flash in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Ezra Miller is set to play another unique figure, the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí.

Ten years ago, Miller landed his first feature role in Antonio CamposAfterschool, an indie drama that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. By the early 2010s, Miller gained more attention within the world of indie filmmaking, as he played the titular role in Lynne Ramsay’s acclaimed 2011 film We Need to Talk About Kevin, and starred in the popular 2012 drama <a href="https://screenrant.
See full article at Screen Rant »

Cheese and Worms: A Conversation with Jonas Mekas

  • MUBI
Jonas Mekas' As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty(2000) is showing April 3 - May 3, 2018 in the United Kingdom.“Dear Mrs. S.: Life is going on. Nothing new, but we are very busy. Factories and our film obsessions. We have joined a couple of experimental film clubs, just to find out more about what’s going on and to meet people. We even screened some of our footage for them.”—Jonas Mekas, I Had Nowhere to GoFrom those inauspicious beginnings, Jonas Mekas became the man regularly referred to as the godfather of the American avant-garde. His films were landmarks of the independent film scene, essayistic diaries that bristled against the prescriptions of commercial cinema but more importantly brimmed with vitality. Like kaleidoscopic patchworks of New York life they shared intimate moments and gave—indeed continue to give—an evocative glimpse into a teeming cultural epoch.
See full article at MUBI »

Expecting the Unexpected: Four by Luis Buñuel

  • MUBI
Four late films by Luis Buñuel are showing from February 22 - March 28, 2018 in the United States in the retrospective Buñuel.“Chance governs all things.”—Luis Buñuel, My Last SighStriving for the surprising has always been a prevailing part of Luis Buñuel’s aesthetic practice. At first, this endeavor manifest itself in overtly incongruous visual terms, with the succession of shocking and often inexplicable images that dominate his earliest efforts, namely Un chien andalou (1929) and L'âge d'or (1930). After these two surrealist masterworks, though, both of which Buñuel made in collaboration with the movement’s eminent enforcer, Salvador Dalí, the director’s output went in a decidedly more systematic direction. The films Buñuel made in Mexico, twenty of them from the late 1940s into the early 1960s, could at times be just as provocative as anything else filling his filmography, but their formal and tonal constitution was comparatively tame and, dare one say it regarding Buñuel,
See full article at MUBI »

Close-Up on "Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno (2009) is showing from February 2 - March 4, 2018 in many countries around the world.“Memory is cursed with what hasn’t happened.”—Marguerite Duras With Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno, directors Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea both reconstruct and describe the production of the titular unfinished 1964 film, presenting their film as at once an op-art experiment and a traditional documentary of a failed production. At its center, however, is a preoccupation with the notion of the historical fragment and the viewer’s attribution of meaning and value to the fragment. This attribution is largely the result of a lack, as Lacan put it, experienced by both the fragment and viewer that can never be satisfied. The fragment signifies its own symbolic desire to be a part of a whole and the viewer’s symbolic desire for that whole.
See full article at MUBI »
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