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The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer (1984)

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 »
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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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Кабинет Яна Шванкмайера, пражского алхимика кино  »

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1.37 : 1
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Edited into Tales of the Brothers Quay (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
also nice for fans of Arcimboldo
26 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

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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