Of all surrealist art, the image of an eyeball sliced through with a razor may be the one most embedded in our collective memory. It’s origins are in the experimental film Un Chien Andalou, a 1929 collaboration between artist Salvador Dalí and filmmaker Luis Buñuel, well-known for its striking images tied together without a plot.
Two Russian developers, Ilya Kononenko and Yuliya Kozhemyako, known collectively as No, Thanks, have updated the film for the 21st century, in the form of a video game based on the film’s infamous opening scene where a shot of a woman’s eye, intercut with a dead calf, seems to be sliced open with a razor. Titled The Tender Cut, the game, much like the film it’s based on, follows no real story. It has no goals or winners, and its creators view it more as an interactive installation.
In the game, the player starts in a black and white room, with items including a lighter and a razor strewn about the space, and an old fashioned television playing bits of Un Chien Andalou. The player can explore the space, gradually discovering its secrets. “We want players to dive into a surrealistic dream, where emotions overlap each other–disgust and arousal, fear and curiosity,” the developers told Engadget.
They think the game could give users a more in depth understanding of the film’s intentions. “An interactive format makes you an actor instead of viewer,” they said. “It makes it possible to experience the scene from the other side and get another emotional message.” There’s about 10 to 20 minutes of experiences to explore in the game–just enough time to delve a little into the film’s bizarre and fascinating world, but probably not quite the amount of action most people think is necessary for a typical video game.
The Tender Cut‘s score, with two original compositions, was written by American composer Shawn Claude Jones, but if you get tired of his spooky atmospheric tunes when the game drops on April 3, you could always turn on the Pixies.