In Prague, a professorial puppet, with metal pincers for hands and an open book for a hat, takes a boy as a pupil. First, the professor empties fluff and toys from the child's head, leaving... See full summary »
In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around... See full summary »
Set in pre- World War II era. A young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a sanatorium. But the place is going to ruin and recalls a lot of memories from the past. He is ... See full summary »
I am not really that familiar with the work of Jan Svankmajer, and this film came as quite an eye-opened; its one of the most intense and disturbing films I have ever seen. For this loose adaptation of Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" Svankmajer uses grainy black and white footage and shoots mostly from the point of view of the story's unfortunate protagonist. It's a struggle of man, his will to live, and his intellect serving this will versus the slow but seemingly inescapable domination of machines (sort of a medieval version of "2001: A Space Odyssey"). The visual imagery is fascinating and an outstanding presentaion of the Gothic sensibility. The film is also the best realization of Poe's fiction that I have seen (much better than the surprisingly bad adaptations of Poe that Vadim, Malle and Fellini directed in "Spirits of the Dead"). Its a masterpiece. I give it a 10. If you have the chance to see this work, I advise you not to pass it up.
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