Eugene, an aging man, leads a double life: one real – the waking life he spends in the company of his wife of many years, Milana – and the other in his dreams, his sleeping hours being devoted to a recurring evolving dream of a beautiful young woman, Evgenia. Seeking to perpetuate his dream life, he goes to see a psychoanalyst, who attempts to provide an ongoing interpretation of his experiences. On the wall there are portraits of Freud and Jung, which become animated, alternately applauding, disapproving or fighting over her interpretations. The latest film from practising surrealist animator Jan Svankmajer is a mix of cut-out animation from photographs and live action segments, combining real actors with their animated photographs, against black and white backdrops of photographed Czech buildings. This stylistic approach which, Svankmajer jokes during the films introduction, was due to lack of funds and saved on catering, provides freedom for imaginative collages, and humorous nods in the direction of some of surrealism’s familiar practitioners (Dalí, Ernst, Buñuel). Drawn directly from Svankmajer’s own dreams, the film is a complex, multilayered story about aging, love, sex, childhood, trauma and dreams, steeped in Freudian and Jungian analysis and injected with a healthy dose of perversity. As Eugene labors in different versions of reality, Svankmajer’s own deeply curious take on reality manifests in all its surrealist splendor.
3.06GB | 1h 49m | 1024×576 | mkv