Fear at the hands of technology: The proto-Surrealism of the films of Segundo de Chomn
This essay explores the ways in which director Segundo de Chomn's films represent a crucial moment of proto-surrealist sensibility in the development of Spanish cinema. Specifically, I show how three of his experimental works El hotel elctrico, Le scarabe d'or, and Une excursion incohrente, in their self-reflexive anxiety regarding modernity, through their cultivation of a nihilist order, and in their blurring of interior consciousness and the exterior world, defy the category of primitive cinema with which they have often been labelled, and stand as a model of radical modernity in early European film. Furthermore, this essay suggests that these films form a previously unrecognised genetic map of Luis Buuel and Salvador Dal's Un chien andalou, through their development of a distinctive visual landscape, and more importantly, through their use of film tricks as a means to underscore the pervasive early-twentieth-century fear of unbridled technology.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: The University of Washington, USA.
Publication date: 2008-05-19
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- In 2013, Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, is changing its name to Studies in Spanish & Latin American Cinemas to reflect more accurately its content, which is dedicated to the study of Spanish-speaking and Latin American cinemas, including the cinemas of Spain and Spanish-speaking South, Central and North America including the Caribbean, as well as Brazil.
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