When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife’s pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than a normal child. Read More »
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. Read More »
A man takes up residence with a mysterious marquis and is soon persuaded to enter into an asylum for preventative therapy. Things are not what they seem, and the marquis may be even more sinister than what the young man may’ve predicted.
The classic stories of Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis de Sade are filtered through the creative mind of noted surrealist Jan Svankmajer in a philosophical horror film that probes the darkest depths of the human mind. Read More »
…Faust was originally intended as a production for the Laterna magika theatre. Svankmajer describes it as a “variety collage” in which elements from Marlowe, Goethe, Christian Dietrich Grabbe, Gounod and the Czech folk puppet play (Kopecky) are all framed by the reality of contemporary Prague… The films hero, an ordinary man in a dirty raincoat, lives in a rundown flat in Prague. Here (as in Conspirators of Pleasure), it is noticeable that Svankmajer avoids any exotic images of “tourist Prague”, preferring nondescript streets and down-at-heel cafes serving nauseous food… Like Alice Faust moves from scene to scene and from one world to another but, this time, also from text to text, with a time out for the occasional cigarette or glass of beer. Read More »
A eight-part animatied portrait of various species, accompanied by a different style of music – the various parts are: Aquatilia (foxtrot), Hexapoda (bolero), Pisces (blues), Reptilia (tarantella), Aves (tango), Mammalia (minuet), Simiae (polka) and Homo (waltz). Each animation mixes drawings, pictures, real animals and animated skeletons Read More »
Frank visits his friend Josef, who introduces him to his pedigree rabbits and his wife Mary. Frank is more interested in the slightly unsettling fact that Josef and Mary’s garden fence is entirely made up of living people holding hands. Finally, Frank asks Josef how he manages to keep the fence together… Read More »
A man, apparently on the run, takes shelter in a dilapidated house. Every day, he drills a hole through a wall and looks into one of the rooms, each time seeing a different surreal vision… Read More »