Rose Hobart & the erupting Mt. Bombalai in Rose Hobart (1936, arranged/edited by Joseph Cornell)
“Salvador Dali was beside himself with envy. He had always been prone to jealous rages, and Rose Hobart provoked his full malevolence. Halfway through the movie, there was a loud crash as the projector was overturned. ‘Salaud (Bastard)!’ came from Dali. Dali’s wife, Gala, pushed her way toward him and pleaded, ‘Calme-toi.’ But Dali could not be placated. ‘Salaud and encore salaud!,’ he shouted again and again, while members of the audience rose to restrain him.
Dali had good reason for envy. As critics would later remark, Joseph Cornell’s Rose Hobart ranks with Dali’s Un Chien Andalou as a masterwork of Surrealism - and in some ways it is a more radical work.
Dali lamented: ‘My idea for a film is exactly this, and I was going to propose it to someone who would pay to have it made….I never wrote it or told anyone, but it is as if he had stolen it.’ (Dali would later accuse Cornell of being “a plagiarist of my unconscious mind.”)
Cornell was deeply aggrieved by the incident. It had never occurred to him that someone as marginal as he could excite the envy of a world famous Surrealist. Thus Cornell was instructed firsthand in the unkindness of fellow artists. To the end of his life, he would recount the story whenever he was asked to screen his films, usually as a way of explaining why he must decline.”
-excerpted from Utopia Parkway:The Life & Work of Joseph Cornell