Get surreal at the Barbican

London venue to host a season of surrealist classics.

by Jennie Kermode

Luis Buñuel, Jean Cocteau, Maya Deren, Andrei Tarkovsky, Man Ray - those are just a few of the filmmakers whose work will be celebrated in the Barbican's Surreal Film House Season, which starts this Friday and will run until the 22nd. As well as providing a rare chance to see important and influential early films in the movement, it will also showcase the work of contemporary directors like David Lynch, Terry Gilliam and Guillermo del Toro.

Highlights of the season will include special screenings of Un Chien Andalou and L'Âge D'Or, which still have the power to shock today, as well as offering some deliciously dark humour. The former brings together filmmaker Buñuel with Salvador Dali, who brought his own agenda to cinema, determined to provoke transgressive thoughts and new ideas. Cocteau's wildly romantic La Belle Et La Bête features elegant cinematography that has rarely been surpassed, along with a glorious Georges Auric score. And Roger Corman's lurid yet challenging The Masque Of The Red Death brings a touch of gothic splendour perfectly complemented by Lynch's delirious Blue Velvet.

The season will also include a special kids section featuring slapstick humour in the form of Buster Keaton's playful silent comedies. Meanwhile, a series of films will focus on the influence of the surrealist movement on architecture.

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