BREAKFAST: After eating breakfast, a man is transformed into an elaborate dumb-waiter-style breakfast dispenser - and the same fate befalls the man who obtains breakfast from him. LUNCH: ... See full summary »
A three-part depiction of various forms of communication. 'Factual Discussion' depicts three heads (made up of fruit, kitchen utensils and writing implements respectively) endlessly ... See full summary »
A man sits down to watch a football match, which seems to consist of the players being violently mutilated in various inventive ways. The players then leave the football pitch and invade ... See full summary »
A bust of Stalin is cut open on an operating table, leading to an elaborate animated depiction of Czech history from 1948 (the Communist takeover) to 1989 (the Velvet Revolution). Some ... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
this was my first contact with Svankmajer. And what a strong impression i got! He is 'labeled' with the surrealist movement, and is frequently attached to the other surrealist names in cinema. In this film alone, i don't check any of what might be called surrealism, except for some aesthetic choices, and some physics of the world within i will explain. That is because surrealism had always to do with seeking to deliver through art states of consciousness which are beyond self-awareness. Dreams, for instance. Things which we can't control, which are not material, we can't touch, which happen in undefined time (in shape and duration). None of that is here. This has, of course, a veiled political speech between the lines. We have a character which is told where to go, he follows arrows which lead to wherever someone wants. He is given everything, but he can't taste anything. He is taken to doors, but he is not allowed to open them. He is given food, but than he has a dog to eat it. This takes place entirely inside an apartment. Of course this is (or could be) the direct metaphor to the Soviet Union, the iron curtain, all those elements which motivated many filmmakers and artists to create art that could express desperation and in satisfaction without alerting censors. That's not surrealist (believing now in some of the ideologies used than might be surrealistic, this is not). But this is, instead, a fantastic experiment. I don't know much about Czech animation, or Czech cinema, but i'm willing to explore it. I saw a short, a while ago, 'Prílepek', it was a very good experience from someone who learned a lot from this Czech reference. So i'm sensing a continuity that i care about exploring, so i'll be looking for more of these works.
What we have here (and that is more close we can get to the surrealism mood here) is a world which defines its own rules. I mean physical rules. It's a world were the material behaviour of materials and objects is not the same as in our real world. It is possible for a man to place an arm across a wall, or a wood bed to completely disintegrate as if it was eaten up. That is what takes us to another dimension, and the frantic pace and editing also. The stop-motion is remarkable, and the technical level really very high here.
My opinion: 4/5 don't miss it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?