A very free adaptation of Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus', Goethe's 'Faust' and various other treatments of the old legend of the man who sold his soul to the devil. Svankmajer's Faust is a ... See full summary »
When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than a ... See full summary »
A quiet young English girl named Alice finds herself in an alternate version of her own reality after chasing a white rabbit. She becomes surrounded by living inanimate objects and stuffed ... See full summary »
A man takes up residence with a mysterious marquis and is soon persuaded to enter into an asylum for preventative therapy. Things are not what they seem, and the marquis may be even more sinister than what the young man may've predicted.
Six outwardly average individuals have elaborate fetishes they indulge with surreptitious care. A mousy letter carrier makes dough balls she grotesquely ingests before bed. A shop clerk ... 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 »
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 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 »
A memorably bizarre screen version of Lewis Carroll's novel 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', mixing one live actor (Alice) with a large variety of stop-motion animated creatures, ranging from the complex (the White Rabbit) to the incredibly simple (the Caterpillar, consisting of a sock, a couple of glass eyes and a pair of false teeth). The original story is followed reasonably faithfully, though those familiar with this director's other films won't be the least bit surprised by the numerous digressions into Svankmajer territory, living slabs of meat and all. As the opening narration says, it's a film made for children... perhaps? Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
Everytime Alice attempts to open up a drawer, the handle seems to break off. See more »
In the outdoor scene when Alice cuts her finger, she is obviously missing a front tooth. See more »
Alice thought to herself... Alice thought to herself 'Now you will see a film... made for children... perhaps... ' But, I nearly forgot... you must... close your eyes... otherwise... you won't see anything.
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This movie may be labeled frustratingly plotless by some, and that's fair, but the imagery in this strange combination of stop-motion animation and live footage is so hauntingly rich and evocative that you get the feeling that someone has secretly filmed your own childhood dreams and translated them into Czech - perhaps for the viewing pleasure of the former commissars. The basic idea is that all of ALICE IN WONDERLAND is occurring in Alice's house, and a staggering variety of household items are animated into jerky sort of life, while all the character voices - Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit - are spoken by Alice. Alice's house, however, is a Czech house, and the items are old even by Soviet bloc standards. It's as if an antique rummage sale suddenly sprang to life to act out a monstrous little comedy for one girl. And the architecture is simultaneously comforting and frightening. Windows, for example, merely open onto other rooms, all lit by bare light bulbs. What keeps the thing tied to Lewis Carroll is the performance of the little girl playing Alice. She appears to be about six or seven, and despite the disturbing events going on around her, she never appears frightened, and always investigates events as they grow curiouser and curiouser with a determined pluck. This little girl is always in control. What this adaptation lacks in forward momentum or narrative drive it makes up for with a surreal poetry of the domestic space as dreamed by a child.
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