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Darkness Light Darkness (1989)

Tma/Svetlo/Tma (original title)
A human body gradually reconstructs itself as its various component parts crowd themselves into a small room and eventually, after much experimentation, sort out which part goes where.

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A human body gradually reconstructs itself as its various component parts crowd themselves into a small room and eventually, after much experimentation, sort out which part goes where. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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1989 (Czechoslovakia)  »

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Darkness Light Darkness  »

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Featured in The Animation Celebraton Volume Three (1993) See more »

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Funny, Bizarre, Svankmajer!
10 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

I can't stop watching the short and feature films of the masterful animator Jan Svankmajer. His films manage to be surreal, creepy, weird, and funny, and "Darkness Light Darkness" manages to be one of his greatest accomplishments!

It is a very simple short film. The premise is that, in a room, various human body parts come together to create an actual human body, in only 7 minutes. It's a bizarre concept, which manages to be much less complicated than, say, "Dimensions of Dialogue" or "The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia" which both are much more political, and full of symbolism. "Darkness Light Darkness" isn't really political (at least I do not think it is, but there's the slight chance it could be, considering Svankmajer actually said that ALL of his films are political in the short documentary about him called "Animator of Prague"), but it is really surreal.

The atmosphere is somewhat uncomfortable and uneasy. No soundtrack accompanies the bizarre creation of this human body. But, as discomforting as its atmosphere is, "Darkness Light Darkness" also manages to be quite hilarious in its own weird way.

It serves as a sort of twist on the body horror genre, replacing horror with Svankmajer's dark sense of humor. He seems to play around with the strange concept, and fits some pretty funny scenarios into its short 7 minute runtime.

This is one of my favorite short films.


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