Skip to content

The 30 Best Surrealist Films Not Directed by Luis Bunuel

08 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists | by Daniel Miranda

being-john-malkovich-1999

Surrealism and film have been together since the beginning of the surrealist movement in the early 1920’s. The first time the word surrealist appeared was in 1903 in the play “Les Mamelles de Tirésias” by Guillaume Apollinaire; Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities during WWI centering itself in Paris. Surrealism is based on the element of surprise, using unexpected juxtaposition and non sequitur images; basically it’s an expression of the philosophical movement, with the works being an artifact of the mind and the subconscious.

Surrealism was the first artistic movement to become seriously associated with cinema. At the beginning of the 1920’s, film-making was experimental, the surrealist movement helped shape disassembling reality into a dream world that was beyond reality and belief, capturing the consciousness of the audience. This medium nullified realities and boundaries, giving the opportunity to portray the ridiculous as rational.

Cinema helped the movement spread across other countries, allowing the viewers a chance to experiment with sensations and emotions other media could not deliver.

From the late 20’s and early 30’s, the movement spread around the globe, allowing many countries to experiment in the visual field of cinema, consequently nurturing the minds of many talented directors and giving us some of cinema’s most crazy and unique films in history.

Since Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel is a household name of making surrealist films, and we have dedicated an entire list to his filmography, we will introduce other brilliant surrealist filmmakers and their films in this article. We hope this list will help you find some real gems in this fascinating genre. All films listed here are ranked in chronological order.

 

1. The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928) Dir. Germain Dulac

The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928)

A General, his wife, and a clergyman play a crucial threesome in Germain Dulac’s silent short film, where the clergyman is haunted by the lusting emotions he has for the General’s wife. This might be the quintessential jewel in surrealist cinema, Germain Dulac’s short story introduces us from the first frame to a surreal and trippy journey into the mind of the clergy, the opening shots of a hallway transport us to an eerie place in the darkest corners of the clergy’s mind where he is being hunted by the General.

This story centers around the values and morals of a priest who stands for what is right and represents the moral values of society and religion and the turmoil of moral repression he has to deal while fighting his inner demons and the lust for a woman who is spoken for.

The film has what may be the first slow motion run in cinema history, it is greatly executed, almost as if a ballerina was approaching her final moves to end a perfect performance, great frame by frame juxtapositions of images, to achieve one of the greatest executed criticisms against a man’s oppression and basic instincts and for a final treat the film gives us a good idea of the architecture and way of life around the 20’s.

 

2. The Blood of a Poet (1932) Dir. Jean Cocteau

The Blood of a Poet

The Blood of a Poet is the first in Jean Cocteau’s Orphic trilogy, which is followed by Orphée (1950) and concluded by Testament of Orpheus (1960). Blood of a Poet is a poem in many ways, from the great music by Georges Auric to the subtitle cuts, using sculptures, and effects used to achieve surreal scenery.

We follow an artist sketching the face of a woman, who in a way may resemble the art of Picasso, going over and over again to achieve the perfect portrait he is startled when he discovers the woman’s mouth moving, he reacts by rubbing the mouth and erasing it only to discover the mouth has transferred to the palm of his hand, he tries to remove it but fails, then what appears to be an awkward scene the artist uses the mouth in his hand to roam his body and falls asleep.

In section two, the statue comes to life, speaking to the artist, luring him to go inside the mirror in his studio. Once inside in a dream like scenery, we find our artist in what appears to be a hotel, where he encounters several doors and plays the part of a peeping tom, witnessing several people such as a man being shot to death, an opium smoker, a girl, and a hermaphrodite.

The artist is handed a gun and instructed how to shoot himself, he does so but does not die, and after that the artist cries out, he has seen enough and leaves the mirror. He smashes the statue to pieces. Outside some kids have a snowball fight, an elder boy throws a snowball to a younger boy, the boy dies from the impact, and the snowball is actually a chunk of marble. A gambler plays cards with a woman while set up next to the boy’s dead body.

The gambler extracts a card from the boy’s body while an angel appears and absorbs the body, ultimately the gambler loses the game and commits suicide, everybody applauds this action and the woman transforms into the statue that was smashed earlier in the film; the statue walks through the snow, leaving no footprints behind. The film in the end resists full understanding, but welcomes endless interpretations. It is a film that is hard to get a grasp.

 

3. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) Dir. Maya Deren

meshes of the afternoon

In this short film directed by husband and wife team, Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid treat us to this circular narrative, where a woman is being followed home by a figure, upon entering her home after a failed attempt, the woman goes to her room and sits on a chair, immediately falling asleep and entering a dreamlike world.

The first figure we gaze upon is a grim-reaper-like character with a mirror for a face, the woman tries to catch the figure but is unable to do so, and with each failure she re-enters the house. She bumps into the same house hold objects, a knife, a telephone, a phonograph, a key, and a flower. Following the hooded figure, she sees it hiding a knife under the pillow, seeing multiple instances of herself, in a Deja-vu like memento the woman tries to kill herself with a knife but is interrupted by a man.

The man leads her back to the bedroom and makes her realize everything she saw in the dream was actually happening. At the end, Maya delivers us an unexpected twist.

The short film is flooded with eerie scenery, a sometimes repelling and frustrating score alluding more to a nightmare rather than a dream, the film also deals with great and creative editing, slow motion that gives a dream-like illusion to depict a world where it is more difficult to catch reality, maybe the hooded figure stands for reality and what drives the woman is the loneliness that pushes her to become something different, something she doesn’t want to be anymore. Meshes of the Afternoon was selected in 1990 for preservation in the United States Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

 

4. Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947) Dir. Hans Richter

Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947)

Jack Bittner plays Jack/Narcissus as a man who has just rented a room and is struggling with his finances. While wondering how he can afford to pay the rent, he discovers he can unfold the contents of his mind while gazing at himself in a mirror, it is not long until he realizes he can apply this gift to others and that way make a profit to pay the rent. He manages to sell the ultimate fantasy, tailor-made dreams that can meet every buyer’s desires, his client base is very special and with different demands.

Within the seven surreal dream sequences, Writer/Director Hans Richter uses the collaboration of such renowned artists like: Max Ernest, Man Ray, and Alexander Calder.

The film is so well made and the way Hans Richter used color to emphasize a surreal journey to give us the ultimate treat while asking us a great question: what and how much would you pay for a tailor-made dream? The movie explores our basic human psyche. It was awarded for the Best Original Contribution to the Progress of Cinematography at the 1947 Venice Film Festival.

 

5. Woman in The Dunes (1964) Dir. Hiroshi Teshigahara

woman-in-the-dunes

Eiji Okada plays an entomologist who has come to a remote desert to study and collect the indigenous population of insects. On a quest for an unclassified beetle he ponders the idea, he would achieve notoriety as a scientist by discovering and naming the beetle after himself.

While doing so he rests for a while on a dune where he asks himself a fundamental question: does a person’s recognized achievements validate his existence? Does the number of certificates and awards he has received in his lifetime measure the value of his life?

After thinking over the question, he falls asleep just to be awakened by a stranger with the news he is stranded there because the last bus has just departed, the villagers arrange temporary lodging with the towns widow who is brilliantly played by Kyoko Kishida, who lives at the bottom of a sand dune only accessible by a rope ladder, he notices the widow shovels sand from dusk to dawn, not making a big deal about it he falls asleep.

The next morning he wakes up to find the rope ladder he used to descend to the house has been retracted and the sands formations are impossible to climb, soon he discovers what happened to the widows family, and why she is shoveling day and night, the entomologist asks the widow an essential question for his sake. “Are you living to shovel, or shoveling to live?”

Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Woman in The Dunes is a brilliant surreal film where the shifting dunes landscape presents us redemption in the everyday and monotonous task, where to live is just a desire and human’s most basic instinct, the film also deals with the basic needs of human civilization and the frail line between the pursuit of the artificial excesses of human civilization.

 

6. The Saragossa Manuscript (1965) Dir. Wojciech Has

The Saragossa Manuscript

This film adaptation based on the novel by Jan Potocki is set in the town of Saragossa Spain during the Napoleonic Wars, two officers of opposing sides find themselves allies in a unique and ironic way, one of the officers finds a manuscript in a deserted inn, its author was his grandfather, the other officer tries to arrest him but instead he ends up translating the manuscript.

The manuscript tells the story of Alfonso van Worden who is seeking the shortest route through the Sierra Morena Mountains, by doing so he will go into hunted territory. At an apparently deserted inn, Alfonso is invited to dine with two Moorish princesses who are his cousins, who he must marry to provide them with heirs. However, he must convert to Islam to do so, the cousins seduce him and give him a skull goblet to drink, and he does so and passes out.

From there, the story escalates into a series of subplots that introduce us to such adventures, taking us from a Hermit Priest to the Inquisition, from fending off ghosts to fighting duels, all to wake up back where he started in the shadow of the gallows.

The film is a labyrinth with a story within a story structure, it treats us to a multi-layer subplot, making it almost impossible to keep track of who is who and what’s what. The complexity of how the inner tales intertwine so the latter tales shed some new light on earlier experiences recounted by other characters. We would recommend multiple viewings of the film in order to get a firm grasp on the plot, this is the kind of film that leaves you thinking over and over: Did I get it right?

 

7. Daisies (1966) Dir. Vera Chytilová

Daisies (1966)

Two female teenagers who are having a robotic and monotonous conversation known as Marie 1 and Marie 2 decide to go crazy and be bad as a result of how the world has no values and is demoralized. The girls set out into the world with one goal in mind, wreak havoc everywhere they go. They stage various dinner dates with older men, eating, drinking, and telling lies through the evening, just to ditch their dates in a fast motion montage that feels almost as an homage to Chaplin.

Looking for more adventures, the dynamic duo ends up getting wasted in a 1920´s vibe nightclub, just to get kicked out in the most avant-garde comedic way possible. Going from adventure to adventure, they end up getting caught and trailed for their mischief. Finally understanding what they need to do to redeem themselves the universe catches up with them.

Banned from the Czech authorities for “depicting the wanton”, this film is a great comedic roller-coaster of non-stop mischievous adventures, Vera Chytilová comes out to make a statement of nihilistic decadence and what it’s like to live in a communist country. After the release of the film, Vera Chytilová was forbidden to work in her homeland until 1975.

 

 

Pages: 1 2 3 4


   

Other Brilliant Movie Posts On The Web
   

Like Our Facebook Page and Get Daily Updates
   
  • Pingback: The 30 Best Surrealist Films Aside the Ones directed by Luis Bunuel()

  • Charles Barnes

    I wouldn’t say Bunuel overshadows other surrealist filmmakers, not in the same way Kurosawa holds dominance over samurai flicks or Hitchcock over 1940’s/1950’s thrillers.

    Bunuel may have been the instrumental pioneer for the form, but more recent surrealists like (of ones you mentioned) Lynch, Cronenberg, Gilliam and Jonze almost certainly hold far more popularity amongst internet-cinephiles. If anything, those four act as the gateways into the movement, and excluding Bunuel would not be necessary in a list of surrealists for fear of listing titles constantly mentioned.

    Very interesting list though. Loved it.

    Glad to see love for Woman in the Dunes and Uncle Boonmee 🙂

    • CMo

      I would say that Bunuel does tower over everyone but Svankmajer. Everything by Svankmajer (including his shorts) could be on this list.

      • Jan Svoboda

        🙂 I agree but Alice is still the most powerful movie made by him. Btw my children love to get scared while watching the movie since they were 1 year old.

    • Yigru Zeltil

      “Lynch, Cronenberg, Gilliam and Jonze almost certainly hold far more popularity amongst internet-cinephiles”

      What has popularity to do with quality? And calling directors like Lynch and Gilliam “surrealist” is a stretch. Yes, there are many surreal things about those films, but not surrealist in a strict use of the term (i.e. using dream logic to structure the film instead of simply using surreal images in an otherwise (still) fairly conventional narrative).

      • Carl Street III

        Yeah, I think most newer film cats would get caught up with some directors use of image vehicles as surrealist elements. Also just because you juxtapose images and elements doesn’t make a surrealist film. I think this can trip up some…

        • Naresh Hegde Dodmari

          I don’t understand how ppl define ‘surrealism’ exactly? I mean… I don’t know… for me anything that makes me trip + jump over my head + wow-mazing is surreal… most of the Lynch films made me feel that way… so i considered them to b surreal as well… of course Luis Bunuel was d pioneer in such explorations … but Lynch’s Lost Highway and Mulolland Dr. definitely deserve a place…

          • Ryo Shenmue

            Lost Highway is a mess and plus with Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire, Lynch just tried to make the same thing over and over and over and he just got it right once…with Mulholland Drive.

          • CASTRO y LORIA

            you define it the same way as you would define neorrealism, soviet cinema or any other vanguard: in it´s historical context. The use of the world “surreal” as an adjective can be “cool” -it´s not, sorry man- outside any serious debate or discussion about cinema or film history. Sorry, Lynch is Lynch as was not alive at the time the surrealists where. And as a matter of fact Surrealism was very strict about what was “surreal art” and what was not, and specially WHO were surrealist artists and not as it´s stated clearly on a very short book named “The Surrealist Manifesto” by Andre Breton. You can do yourself a favour by looking up “surrealism” on a film history book: that´s how ppl define “surrealism”. You can get the same results (trip + jump over your head + wow-mazing) by hitting your head to a wall resulting on a minor contusion -saldy, i think it has already happened in your place. or try lying down the crack pipe.

          • Naresh Hegde Dodmari

            Thanks! that’s some great info…. (I didn’t read last few lines though 😛 )

    • David R Velasquez

      Kurosawa’s ‘Dreams’ is magnificent!

  • Andrew lowry

    Fantastic list. Thank you.

  • Vinashak

    Glad to find that I am familiar with most of them… I though my score will be poor in this one…

    Long Live Bunuel nevertheless!

  • Jimmy Hendrickx

    It should be 21 movies: Louis Malle’s Black Moon Included – The full movie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_-LlJ8Hom0

    • Charles Barnes

      I don’t know, personally, I never felt Malle suited surrealism, the faux-attempt of Black Moon being proof.

  • Ernest Delannoy

    Branded to Kill : 1966

  • NGboo

    Nice list, but it could be extended by the works by Federico Fellini, Sergei Parajanov, Lech Majewski, brothers Quay, Mamoru Oshii, Jan Jakub Kolski, Juraj Jakubisko, Olivier Smolders, Rustam Khamdamov, Takashi Miike and Jodorowsky’s DP Rafael Corkidi… 🙂
    And personally, I’d put “Dogura Magura” in the place of “Funeral Parade of Roses”.

    • Charles Barnes

      Miike surreal? Well, I do love Gozu (in my opinion it was the best ‘David Lynch’ film of the 2000’s, as I’m not amazingly fond of Lynch’s distortion of narrative/structure in his work’s this century) but is Miike surreal otherwise or just…fascinated with disturbing his viewers?

      Again, was Fellinni truly a surrealist? Maybe with 8 1/2, sure, but by that logic then, in my view, that would make Wild Strawberries surreal (naming Bergman as a surrealist holds SOME weight, granted) or Barton Fink (ditto for the Coens).

      Not disputing your claims, but I’m just excited for a discussion on this matter 🙂

      • NGboo

        When I suggested Miike, I had “Izo” (or maybe even “Happiness of Katakuris”) on my mind, but then again, I watched it a long time ago, so I might be wrong. Or maybe I took the term “surreal” in a broader sense… 🙂

        • Charles Barnes

          I actually haven’t heard of Izo (at least I don’t think so) until you brought it up. Gotta see that one. As for Katakuris, I’ve been meaning to get around to that one for a while, and I’m very excited to do so. I’m something of a Miike fan, though I can dislike his work just as easily as I can love it (as I did with Gozu and Audition). I don’t believe another director shares that honour for me.

          To me, surreal denotes stream-of-consciousness and a desire to represent on screen a dream, particularly an uncomfortable or confusing one: celebrate and showcase the unknowns of the unconscious mind.

          There are films on here I wouldn’t, personally, name as surreal (Fear and Loathing and Being John Malkovich among them, even if they have undeniable surreal elements). It may sound specific (and strange) but I can always tell distinctly the films derived from dreams and a flow of random, bizarre consciousness (which is what I would denote surreal) between the one’s derived from LSD-esque hallucinations or just plain out-of-the-box storytelling (like Charlie Kaufman’s work).
          The films derived from these differing sources I (usually) wouldn’t consider ‘surreal’ in the typical artistic sense (as in, derived directly from the 1920’s movement from which Dali and Bunuel made themselves known).

          • Carl Street III

            Which is why I was suprised to see The Cremaster Cycle missing from the list.

          • CASTRO y LORIA

            Well I´d advice, instead of posting your personal “feelings” about what surrealism “denotes” you would stick to the original writings of it´s founders and to the historic context that gave way to it. Does Freud, Lautreamont or some other “big names” probably at the page 5 of the Surrealist Manifesto ring a bell? “a desire to represent on screen a dream, particularly an uncomfortable or
            confusing one: celebrate and showcase the unknowns of the unconscious
            mind.” = Sorry. Wrong. Refer to the original source as what “does it mean”, and it´s nothing personal, Andre Breton wrote about the definition of surrealism, it´s methods and it´s aims VERY clear.

          • Charles Barnes

            Who says the author must have final say on how his works must be perceived?

      • John Davidsson

        Ichi the killer, Audition, Visitor Q, Gozu, Big bang love, Juvenile A, Izo, Dead or alive trilogy, the box and so the list goes on.
        If Miike isn’t a surrealist then who is? =)

        • Charles Barnes

          Miike’s work isn’t surreal, as opposed to uncomfortable, unconventional, and chock full of sordid, striking imagery. They have discernible plots and typical narrative structures.

          Surreal in the same pattern as Bunuel and/or Lynch? Certainly not.

        • Ryo Shenmue

          He’s not a surrealist he’s very messy too as a director.

  • Ted Wolf

    Great list however the comedies are missing like duck soup or the last remake of beau geste

  • Doyeon Lee

    You forgot Marx brothers and Woody Allen.

    • Charles Barnes

      Is Woody really that ‘surreal’ though? Consistently (as in, aside from Anne Hall)? As I mentioned below, if Woody is a surrealist, then by that logic so are others, like his idols/influences Bergman and Fellini. Then so would Altman, judging by 3 Women.

      • jahn

        Check out Allen’s Stardust Memories

  • CDextrous

    Seriously, get a proof reader. Yet another excellent and informative list, riddled with needless errors!

  • Captain_Kork

    Good list but Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is a glaring omission, I think. I’d also add Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams.

    • Yigru Zeltil

      Brazil is hardly surrealist…

      • $63007050

        And why not?

    • Carl Street III

      I agree with Dreams, Brazil was way more distopian than surrealist

  • Ulysse de Maximy

    It is Germaine, not Germain. Very nice list. Funny how her film received a very negative reception by the surrealists of the time and was so underrated.

    • CASTRO y LORIA

      “negative reception” is an understatement. Not any of ther works are considered “surreal” mainly cause she is “blacklisted” in one of the two Manifestos. The whole list is BS. And the use of “surreal” as an adjective or a genre a disgrace. Has anyone went to film school? There´s HISTORY to be learnt. Not just using historic film movements as adjectives. Again, someone could write the same bs with the same ignorant narrowminded view, “The 30 best french new-wave films not directed by any of its directors”. It´s a shit list movie blog, the same you would find at IMDB -they are usually better…

  • FlyteBro

    Holy Motors

  • CMo

    Every Svankmajer film could/should be on this list, including his shorts. Conspirators of Pleasure is conspicuously absent.

  • Constantin de Tugny

    Great list! But it lacks Valerie and her Week of Wonders, a a classic from the czech new wave, as good as Daisies!

  • Phillip Kelly

    I’d like to informally add to this the films of Takashi Miike. Gozu being one of the best surreal films he’s done.

  • No one seems to remember Raul Ruiz’s La Ville Des Pirates…

  • Carl Street III

    Odd that The Cremaster Cycle didn’t make the cut.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1992236/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

  • Naresh Hegde Dodmari

    How could u omit Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway’ and ‘Mulholland Dr’ … If Lost Highway isn’t surreal, what else is?
    Otherwise a good list!

  • zeb

    Delicatessen?

  • CASTRO y LORIA

    what a load of disinformed, postmodern rubbish piece of article. The “author” didn´t even mind to check half of the director´s backgrounds. Would you mind using the world “surrealist” in it´s historic way? One would not write an article about “nazi cinema” and go on with a list of movies depicting hatred to the jews or people wearing black boots. But rather stick to was historically agreed to be the cinematic products of the Third Reich. The title itself is an insult to the intelligence of any reader to access to wikipedia, for starters: those who went through film school can quote Emak Bakia, Le Retour à la Raison or others out of the many works directed by either surrealists or not “hardcore” surrealists (the one of the super close circle of Breton) but that were on similar experiments at the time. It´s shameful too that your first “pick” is a work by Dulac, expressedly “kicked out” the surrealist movement by Breton.

    as the list unfolds it shows clearly the author doesn´t know what he´s talking about, and that shows a lot about today´s widespread ignorance and lack of work -the comments debating x or y movie is “surreal enough” is hilarious. If you go and assemble a “Neorrealist” film list you would pick works by the neorrealists as a historical movement. Not movies you consider “neorrealist”. You wouldn´t write a list of movies about the nouvelle vague named “30 best movies from the Nouvelle Vague not directed from it´s directors”. Same nonsense here.

    The readers seem clearly on the average as informed and unwilling to get informed like the author. So it would be “boring” to just quote for example Maya Deren´s thoughts on surrealism (she wasn´t one by any means nor Meshes to be taken a surrealist work), how you just CANT put two movies by Jodorowksy -mainly because he was working on something completely different, his works with Arrabal and the “Teatro del pánico” speak from themselves and his movies are very heavy on symbolism (they wouldn´t pass the simple “Surrealist Manifesto” test). Worst: Celine and Julie Go Boating… now that´s a hilarious pick (the last ones two, the whole list is a shame) … and the short comment about the movie goes again to show the writer´s absolute ignorance (plus using the words “surreal storytelling” (!!!) is amazing). I guess he hasn´t seen the movie nor checked what it´s real sources are -a quick look at the date, a minimal knowledge of french cinema, the nouvelle vague and it´s link to literature and that would´ve made it. Don´t know if it´s it there not cared to look rly but seems Marienbad is missing. Celine and Julie has it´s bizarre characters and story but apart from the characters taking magic candy, it´s clearly based on the works of Bioy Casares and some other works of central and south american source. As Mariembad, it is based on works like The Invention of Morel or in this case, most possibly “El perjurio de la nieve”. There´s nothing secret about that as many of the french directors since Resnais have made this influence clear on several writings. Shit list… and btw? FOR REAL? VIDEODROME a “SURREALIST” movie? go read the fucking Manifesto and try not to put first a shit movie but a man so despised by the surrealists as a whole it fills hundreds of his written works and articles.

  • Qualiarella18

    pls, join this cinema forums..

    http://www.welikecinema.com/

  • Zgjim Terziqi

    Branded to Kill is 1967, not 1976 :v

  • V.C. Privitera

    Great List; I’m happy with the Majority of this List.
    I do have to ask though:

    Why no Sergei Parajanov?

    I find his films, particularly The Color of Pomegranates, to be quite Surreal & even more-so than Jodorowsky’s El Topo or Holy Mountain…Granted, completely different films, but after watching Parajanov’s works, I realize that he is one of the Great Masters of Cinema & made me STOP Obsessing over Jodorowsky, which I was at the time.
    I have to also add “Santa Sangre” which I believe is Jodorowsky’s best work on film. While it may not be as completely Surreal as a whole as El Topo & Holy Mountain; I think Santa Sangre stands as such an Original piece of Art. I haven’t seen his latest “Dance of Reality,” but from the looks of the Trailer, the Film seems to be Quintessential Jodorowsky.
    While I LOVE Fear & Loathing, as it is my #1 Personal Favorite Film & has been for the better part of over a decade;

    “Arizona Dreams” dir by Emir Kusturica, starring Johnny Depp, Vincent Gallo, Faye Dunaway, & even dramatic role from the Comedy-Legend Great – Jerry Lewis (which just caste-wise is Surreal enough), but I find this film to be truly authentic & quite underrated & underappreciated as it’s one of Depp’s great earlier roles.

    I’m also surprised at the lacking of any Fellini films….at least his later works with “Satyricon” or “Roma.” Which I find more Surreal than say “Juliet of the Spirits,” which is usually Fellini’s top pick for Surrealism.

    As for this whole “David Lynch, Cronenberg, Gilliam, etc” debate going on in the Comments here, while I agree with some of what’s mentioned, the one thing that people are missing here is that this isn’t a List that’s compiled to make Bunuel the Ultimate/Very Best of Surrealist Filmmakers, it’s just that he is/was one of the very 1st Pioneers of Early Cinema that brought forth Surrealism to the screen & continued to do so for the remainder of his career.

    Oddly enough, I’m NOT that much of a fan of Bunuel, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect him as an Artist & Innovator.

    Today, people have to understand that the Majority of Filmmakers that work with Surrealism also branch into other genres……sure, they may not hold up as much as the surrealistic works, but I think the Very-Best of Filmmakers, especially the Auteurs of Cinema are those Filmmakers that take a new approach with each new film, instead of relying on their old, previous trademark approach that solidified their talents & abilities as a Filmmaker to begin with.

  • donreplies

    The fall? Seriously? You call that shit even a film?

  • Nicole Schulman

    Anything by Zulawski is awesome, they forgot “Possession”. I’d also add “The Trial” by Orson Welles, and “Innocence” (2004) by Lucile Hadzihalilovic. Not to mention anything by the Bros Quay- “Institute Benjamente” is their masterpiece.

  • Uncouth Angel

    Why isn’t “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover” on this list??

  • Pingback: Top 20 Comedy Films | tuffreviews()

  • Pingback: The 30 Best Surrealist Films Not Directed by Lu...()

  • suckabrain

    You gotta toss on at least one Luis Malle film, preferably “black moon”. Other than that, excellent list.

  • jason

    Pathetic.

  • Nuno Barros

    I liked this list a lot

    but where’s Dusan Makavejev?

    Sweet Movie (1974)

  • Miss Holy Motors and Marienbad. Otherwise, fantastic list!

  • Unkle Amon

    Interesting list but Underground is not surreal film. Where is Begotten?

  • Possession

  • Jack Napier

    “loosing himself in his imagination”
    -cringes-
    *loses

  • Jugu Abraham

    Major surrealist works I would have included in the list would be the Polish brothers’ “Northfork” (USA) (2003) and several works of the late Chilean maestro Raul Ruiz (particularly, “That Day”, “Three Sad Tigers” and “Three Crowns of the Sailor.”)

  • David R Velasquez

    Great list. I would’ve added the 1974 film adaption of Steppenwolf, the Brothers Quay ‘Street of Crocodiles’ and ‘Solaris’ by Andrei Tarkovsky.