In class last week we were also asked to blog about Marcel Duchamp's Mona Lisa and the Surrealist Film "Un Chien Andalou". Marcel Duchamp reproduced the Mona Lisa with a mustache and goat-tee in 1919 as one of his "readymade" pieces. It is one of the most famous and controversial pieces of readymade art. I believe Duchamp was able to pull off the degradation of DaVinci's masterpiece because of the way he was redefining art at the time. I believe that most artists either before or after his time would not have been able to create such a work without significant controversy and a blow to their reputation. Duchamp, however, was well ahead of his time as a Futurist and contemporary artist. His ready made sculptures and cubist paintings were abstract enough that the Mona Lisa reproduction fit snugly within the boundaries of his unique and noncomformist artistic style.
In class we watched a surrealist film done in the early 1900s called "Un Chien Andalou". The film was extremely experimental and unusual. There were many seemingly random inserts and discontinued scenes that did not seem to pertain to the previous scene in any narrative way. Despite its strange content and non-narrative structure I believe that this film had the ability to be a successful film beyond the realm of art film. Because it was made so early on in film history, the "True Hollywood Narrative" that exists today did not have a strong foothold on society. Therefore an art film such as "Un Chien Andalou" could have very well defined the structure of mainstream film. If the same film was recreated today it would barely make it outside the art world if it even found success there. Now that the Hollywood Narrative is the form by which all films are measured, a film such as "Un Chien Andalou" is not accepted as openly as it would have been in earlier decades.