Cover image for The shadow and its shadow : surrealist writings on the cinema
The shadow and its shadow : surrealist writings on the cinema
Hammond, Paul.
Third edition, revised and expanded.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : City Lights Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
vi, 225 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


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PN1995.9.S85 S5 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Shadow and Its Shadow is a classic collection of writings by the Surrealists on their mad love of moviegoing.

The forty-odd theoretical, polemical, and poetical re-visions of the seventh art in this anthology document Surrealism's scandalous and nonreductive take on film. Writing between 1918 and 1977, the essayists include such names as André Breton, Louis Aragon, Robert Desnos, Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, and man Ray, as well as many of the less famous though equally fascinating figures of the movement.

Paul Hammond's introduction limns the history of Surrealist cinemania, highlighting how these revolutionary poets, artists, and philosophers sifted the silt of commercial-often Hollywood-cinema for the odd fleck of gold, the windfall movie that, somehow slipping past the censor, questioned the dominant order.

Such prospecting pivoted around the notion of lyrical behavior-as depicted on the screen and as lived in the movie house. The representation of such behavior led the Surrealists to valorize the manifest content of such denigrated genres as silent and sound comedy, romantic melodrama, film noir, horror movies.

As to lived experience, moviegoing Surrealists looked to the spectacle's latent meaning, reading films as the unwitting providers of redemptive sequences that could be mentally clipped out of their narrative context and inserted into daily life-there, to provoke new adventures.

"Hammond's book is a reminder of the wealth and range of surrealist writings on the cinema. . . . [T]he work represented here is still challenging and genuinely eccentric, locating itself in an 'ethic' of love, reverie and revolt." --Sight & Sound

"Hammond, who is the author of the invaluable anthology The Shadow and its Shadow: Surrealist Writing on the Cinema (1978), writes about cinema independently of the changing academic and cultural fashions of film theory and abhors the dogmas of contemporary border-patrol thought. His magnetically appealing free-wheeling form of erudite film-critical writing is recognisable for its iconoclastic humour, non-authoritarian verve and playful witty discursivity." --John Conomos, Senses of Cinema

Paul Hammond is a writer, editor, and translator living in Barcelona. He is the author of Constellations of Miró, Breton which was published by City Lights.

Table of Contents

Paul HammondJacques VacheLouis AragonPhilippe SoupaultRene CrevelBenjamin PeretLuis BunuelSalvador DaliAdo KyrouAndre BretonRobert DesnosBernard RogerJacques BruniusJean GoudalAlbert ValentinJacques BruniusAntonin ArtaudJacques BruniusRobert BenayounLuis BunuelAdo KyrouMan RayMarcel MarienNora MitraniPetr KralGerard LegrandAdo KyrouJean FerryPetr KralJean-Louis BedouinRobert BenayounRobert DesnosAdo KyrouNelly KaplanGerard LegrandJacques RigautJoseph CornellAlain JoubertRobert Lebel
Available lightp. 1
Some surrealist advicep. 46
War letterp. 48
On decorp. 50
Cinema U.S.A.p. 55
Battlegrounds and commonplacesp. 57
Against commercial cinemap. 59
Buster Keaton's Collegep. 61
Abstract of a critical history of the cinemap. 63
The marvelous is popularp. 68
As in a woodp. 72
Picture palacesp. 78
Plan for a cinema at the bottom of a lakep. 80
The lights go upp. 82
Surrealism and cinemap. 84
Introduction to black-and-white magicp. 95
Crossing the bridgep. 99
Sorcery and cinemap. 103
The screen's prestigep. 106
Remarks on cinematic oneirismp. 107
The cinema, instrument of poetryp. 112
Malombra, aura of absolute lovep. 117
Data toward the irrational enlargement of a film: The Shanghai Gesturep. 121
The film and Ip. 130
Cinemagep. 133
Another kind of cinemap. 135
Intention and surprisep. 147
The ideal summap. 149
Turkey broth and unlabeled love potionsp. 152
The fantastic - the marvelousp. 158
Concerning King Kongp. 161
Larry Semon's messagep. 166
Hands off lovep. 173
Chaplin, the copper's narkp. 181
Manifesto of the Surrealists concerning L'Age d'orp. 182
Zaroff; or, The prosperities of vicep. 190
Eroticismp. 195
Eroticism = lovep. 197
Au repas des guerrieresp. 200
Female x film = fetishp. 202
Mae Murrayp. 205
"Enchanted wanderer": excerpt from a journey album for Hedy Lamarrp. 206
Iron in the woundp. 209
Pornographers and Co.p. 213
Selected films made by Surrealistsp. 219
A parting shotp. 225