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This was my first look at a Jan Svankmejer short film, and wow, it was strange. There is a lot to see in this movie after the slow beginning few minutes.
The story is simple: two musicians sit on stage and try to outdo each other. They take turns doing very bizarre things. This is kind of simpler puppet presentation of a film I saw this year called "The Prestige." The latter obviously was a lot more complicated being a two-hour feature movie but you don't see many films, short or long, animated or "real," involving competing magicians. This 11- minute film was done almost 45 years ago, too.
These puppets, from the neck down, move almost like humans. Their heads are more like masks. The tricks involve each one opening up his own head and having really strange things happen from that point. You have to see these "tricks" to believe it.
The story also features the two guys' sportsmanship, which proves to be pretty shallow. Incredibly, normal handshakes in the beginning give way to unbelievable violence. This is quite different, to say the least, and I am looking to seeing other works by this Czech filmmaker.
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