Documentaries: “Salvador Dali: In Search of Immortality” and the story of the “Dali house”

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Would be great if one could get to the comments from the front page article. I do dislike having to hunt for it


It wasn’t working for me, then you commented and now it does. Dunno if correlation equals causation, of course.


Kinda surreal, isn’t it.


We watched the doc a few weeks ago. The definitive Dali documentary. Influences on Dali’s oeuvre during his period of Surrealism were well covered, although, oddly, the influence of Giorgio de Chirico was never mentioned.

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That’s an extremely surprising omission. I know many critics talk about the landscape of Port Lligat providing the backgrounds of many of Dali’s paintings but the long shadows and narrow spaces of his early surrealist work definitely show de Chirico’s influence. If I didn’t know this was by Dali I’d guess it was de Chirico.

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Giorgio de Chirico also made a very significant impression on film directors world-wide, something I discovered purely by accident one evening. We were watching Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960 film l’Avventura when, about an hour and 35 minutes into it, a scene mirroring de Chirico’s trademarks (perspectives, et al) appeared. Two of the main characters in search of a missing friend entered a town called Noto. (One of the two characters sees the town as being more of a cemetery than a town and they wonder why it was built at all.) Completely deserted, the town was built of concrete modern structures of towers and arched design elements. Then the scene popped up. Antonioni slowly pushed the camera in (not a zoom) down an alleyway and closing in on a wide-open courtyard in which two of the main characters and the de Chirico-esque architecture stood. The two characters left quite early in the slowly developing scene leaving just the courtyard’s architecture in and remaining that way at the end of the camera’s movement. The scene, that held shot, screamed de Chirico. (I drive people crazy at home when something in a film jumps out at me and I have to go back to it and freeze-frame what I see as directors’ intentional references to other films and artforms.) Anyway, it was easy enough to verify de Chirico’s influence (and very strong it was) on Antonioni. We’ve since watched a few of his other films. Very moody ambiances, almost dreamlike… and with sometimes oblique dialogue and relationships between characters. A lot to decode, like a de Chirico painting. Worth watching but requires patience and a studious regard and openness for something different.


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