Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Dali Dimension (2004)

Susi Marques

Runtime: 53 min

"This documentary is a deeply intelligent dissection of the 20th century's most famous Surrealist artist Salvador Dali and the influence of his art by the realm of all sciences and ologies, which fascinated him. For example, Dali's obsession with physicist Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity influenced his famous painting of a trio of melting clocks entitled "The Persistence of Memory" (which he later denied and instead said was influenced by the effect of Camembert cheese melting in the sun). Dali's rebuttal was "Universal time exists, all things and is thus irrelevant." Sexuality and symbolism, psychology and mysticism, influenced Dali's art, as did Sigmund Freud's psychological theories. The paranoid critical method, which Dali actually theorized, is "delirium interpretation" aka hallucination. In other words, what you think you see in life is not necessarily the real. Heavy, yet obvious once you think about it.

A prolific writer as well as a voracious reader of books regarding the nature of all realms of the sciences, sparked especially by the Atomic Age which began in the late 1940s, affected Dali's art to the high point of near-obsession. During the mid-1950s, religion became mixed into the picture. "I believe in God but I have no faith, Mathematics and sciences tell me that God must exist but I don't believe it. Watson and Crick's discovery, dissection and illustration of DNA spurred Dali's art to another level altogether. "The only legitimate structure today is the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid." Hi, genetics!

The scope of Dali's influences, as well as those who influenced, his contemporaries and predecessors are documented here. Even if you are not into scientific theory, you'll like the footage of Dali and his fantastic signature mustache in interview footage. When the film enters into Dali's status in the '60s and '70s, his pop stardom begins to take form elevating him to rock star status. Four dimensional space and computer illustrations as well as the catastrophe theory were the last scientific influences in Dali's art at the end of his life. Never mind the fact that his art and creative process are mind-blowingly featured in this mulit-award winning feature."


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