The legendary Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel died in Mexico in 1983. Two years before — only two years — his second film was finally released in France, where it had been produced, after years and years of prohibition. This alone shows how Buñuel's work has always been highly controversial. All of his films were very critical of the systems and powers that be, and one of his favorite targets was the Catholic Church. But he always mitigated his fierce critique with great talent, a very peculiar sense of humor, and with the heavy influence of one of the most relevant artistic movements of the Twentieth century: surrealism. In fact, Buñuel and iconic surrealist Salvador Dalí were great friends in their youth, and they collaborated on Buñuel's first movie: the short film Un chien andalou (An Andalusian Dog). In this video essay, we take a look back at the incendiary career of one of movie history’s great directors.

Watch Now: Buñuel’s short film L’age d’or, another collaboration with Salvador Dalí, and his 1952 feature Robinson Crusoe are both available for streaming on Fandor.

For more on this controversial auteur, don’t miss Seeing Double in Luis Buñuel’s Final Film — and don’t miss our other videos on great directors like Bong Joon-ho, Alejandro Iñárritu, Quentin Tarantino, and Brian De Palma!