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...
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A man closes up a lecture hall; he reaches into a box and snips the string holding a gaunt puppet. Released, the puppet warily explores the darkened rooms about him. Screws twist out of ... See full summary »
Loosely based on the Mesopotamian "Epic of Gilgamesh", here Gilgamesh is portrayed as a grotesque, Picasso-esque being who uses a tricycle to patrol his box-shaped kingdom that hovers above a dark abyss.
A magnet moves on a floor. A moth beats against a window. A doll child watches the magnet; threads of metal filings gather around the magnet. The doll, who's sitting at a table, looks in a ... See full summary »
A tear falls from the eyes of a veiled face. A white ball whips around a heart-shaped paddle. A mournful voice sings, "Are we still married?" A child's stuffed rabbit watches, sees ... See full summary »
A woman sits alone on a chair at a table in a room on one of the top floors of an asylum. Bright spot lights dot the night, sometimes shining on her window. She sharpens pencils and writes ... See full summary »
Near an extraordinary chair with many legs, a hand is visible gripping an edge. The hand is weathered, the fingers cracked and scarred. The end of a rifle appears and a shot fires. The ... See full summary »
A young man goes to a school for servants run by a brother and sister. In the dreamlike and surreal world that he enters, how will his presence impact the people there and possibly even the school itself?
An enigmatic story told in seven chapters, each introduced by an elliptical sentence on a title card. A man is in an apartment. He goes outside where a red tram runs beside a cathedral. He ... See full summary »
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 him without the top of his head for most of the film. The professor then teaches the lad about illusions and perspectives, the pursuit of an object through exploring a bank of drawers, divining an object, and the migration of forms. The child then brings out a box with a tarantula in it: the professor puts his "hands" into the box and describes what he feels. The boy receives a final lesson about animation and film making; then the professor gives him a brain and his own open-book hat. Written by
This is an excellent introduction to the work of the Quay Brothers and stop-motion animation. It is enjoyable for fans of Svankmajer, but also for fans of the painter Arcimboldo, whose paintings and characters are featured heavily in this short; most notably the Librarian, which is brought to 3D life as the lead puppet, and also characters from The Seasons, The Elements, and others: Vertumnus, Summer, Fire, and so forth. In fact, a subtitle in the film is Portrait of Svankmajer a la Arcimboldo. Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527 - 1593) was an Italian painter known for creating portraits composed of fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books, all arranged in a fashion that constitutes a portrait of a character which is represented by all those diverse elements.
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