|Index||9 reviews in total|
14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Unbearable Darkness of Being:, 12 October 2006
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA
This 7 minutes short is a fascinating clay animation where a man constructs himself from clay (literally), being a God and his creature at the same time, putting the different parts of body together in a very small room. The more parts find their pace, the bigger the man becomes, the smaller and more suffocating the room gets. "Darkness-Light-Darkness" has been seen by many critics and viewers as a very strong allegory of suffocating life in Eastern Europe which is true, but I also see it as an allegory of a struggle every talented and deeply feeling artist goes through in the search for beauty and meaning regardless the political system or the country they live. From the darkness of non-existence to the light of knowledge to the unbearable darkness of being - that's the road Svankmajer takes us and as usual, his vision is not a cheerful or optimistic one.
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
What an Eerie-Looking Place, 16 July 2007
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
his is one of the few short movies where my jaw was dropping almost
throughout the entire presentation. I was stunned at what I was seeing,
it looked so bizarre. What a genius idea and presentation!
Basically, what we see is a body being put together, putting itself together. It is a claymation (clay animation) film which all takes place in a single room which looks like a big doll house room.
We have only a hand to start, but soon there is a knock on the door and another hand comes in. Then there is a knock on the small window and in flies an ear. Well, actually two ears but molded together looking like a bat or a butterfly. To condense the story, we slowly see an entire body formed. How it's done is utterly fascinating with some things, as I said, that just had my jaw dropping. Some body parts look impossibly big to get through the door,but they manage.
This is very, very clever material and one of the short films I will never forget. It was part of the "Jan Svankmejer: The Ossuary And Other Tales" DVD.
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Svankmajer's short films are just as good, 2 August 2000
Author: (email@example.com) from Los Angeles, USA
If you are a fan of Jan Svankmajer, definitely check this out. Subtitled as
"Scenes From The Surreal," this collection of Svankmajer's short films
includes "Darkness, Light, Darkness," "Manly Games" and "Death of
Stalinism," plus a documentary on Svankmajer and his work. Those who are
familiar with his full-length features such as "Alice" or "Faust" will
instantly recognize the trademark usage of clay animation and marionettes
combined with live action. On "Darkness, Light, Darkness" we witness a clay
man basically building himself up from a scratch. "Manly Games" is a soccer
game like you've never seen it before. (When a player is down, he is really
down, I'll tell you that.) And "Death of Stalinism" is Svankmajer's unique
rumination on the fall of communism and the Velvet revolution in Czech
So, if you are a fan of Svankmajer, this, of course, is mandatory. If you are not, check this out and you just might become one.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Life (without heart??), 15 November 2006
Author: Polaris_DiB from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A human body constructs itself using putty and clay, oftentimes having
to develop weird and distorted shapes in order to work with what it has
until it becomes complete. Apparently this film is a self-reflection of
Svankmejer's, and it also works as sort of a parable of life: when the
light turns on in the beginning, the body starts developing, and once
it's completed and no longer fits in the room, the body turns off the
What I find most interesting in this movie is its lack of heart... in a literal sense. The short goes through all the organs of the head very easily, and the outer parts of the body by necessity, and even lingers on the genitalia, but nowhere in the movie does it work with the organs below the neck. It seems fitting to Svankmejer's style of animation, the way he is so visual and thought-provoking, that he doesn't even include the heart and yet makes sure to include the genitalia in close-up. I think it shows how neurotic he is about life than emotional.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Strange But Cool Stop-Motion Short-Film From Jan Svankmajer, 16 August 2006
Author: EVOL666 from St. John's Abortion Clinic
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having previously seen LITTLE OTIK and ALICE from Jan Svankmajer, I
figured this short-film would be equally bizarre and interesting - and
I wasn't disappointed with DARKNESS/LIGHT/DARKNESS. In fact, I REALLY
dug this claymation-style stop-motion animation short for it's
strangeness, originality, and artistic-styling...
The long and short - the audience observes a clay human figure assemble itself within the confines of a small room. Sounds straight-forward enough...believe me, it isn't...
Anyone into Svankmajer's other works, or anyone particularly into this form of animation, or just strange art-films in general should definitely check this one out. Simultaneously funny and creepy - Svankmajer is definitely an original and gifted director with a knack for balancing humor and dark atmosphere which he proves again with DARKNESS/LIGHT/DARKNESS...8.5/10
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
DARKNESS, LIGHT, DARKNESS (Jan Svankmajer, 1989) ***, 30 December 2008
Author: MARIO GAUCI (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Naxxar, Malta
An inventive, even witty Svankmajer short (lasting 6 minutes) which basically sees the various disembodied components of the human body converging inside a low-ceilinged house(!) on their way to assembling the whole. Sometimes, though, it seems they're not quite sure how it's all supposed to turn out as ever more organs knock at the door demanding entry; the biggest laugh unsurprisingly involves male genitalia as a very loud thud is heard prior to its (unimpressive) appearance! The claymation effects, naturally, are splendid and the results are delightful and striking enough (even at this modest scale, compared to the feature-length ALICE , to which it's been attached on DVD) to definitely make me interested in checking out more of this celebrated animator's work.
Amazing animation that will make you think, 22 April 2011
Author: dawn-clover from Silent Hill
My first entry in to Jan Svankmajer's world was with "Neco z Alenky", a
surreal take on Alice in Wonderland that drew me in instantly. After
watching "Neco z Alenky", I immediately started looking for more
material by Jan Svankmajer, and I came across this little short
animation which blew my mind out of the water.
During the 6 minutes of "Tma/Svetlo/Tma" (Darkness/Light/Darkness) we are invited to witness the different parts of the human male body entering a room separately and trying to figure out how to complete the human form. During this, the small room gets more and more crowded and difficult to move in. To me, the message this short gave me was that we should not aim higher than our capabilities, or we might end up with our goals crowding a small room, eventually turning off the light on it. But this is my interpretation, I've read several more interesting ones as well.
If you enjoy surreal / abstract cinema art, you owe it to yourself to watch this short as soon as possible, you will not be disappointed.
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
how to make a human being, physically of course, 19 April 2008
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
What a cool and weird mind thinks up a short like this! This is basically Jan Svankmajer working out what it means to get connected to (or rather reconnected to) the parts of your body as a man. This means setting up the eyes right, hooking together the hands and fingers and legs and toes, the tongue (such an ugly thing), the brain, the genitals (the water bucket thrown on them off camera is a big laugh), and finally all of the other parts. Darkness Light Darkness is the kind of title that reminds one of the pretentious title of an art piece in Ghost World (Mirror, Father, Mirror), but luckily that's not the case here. It's like Gumby with an extra spike of danger to it, of surprise, and there's not a whole lot that's exactly 'cute' about it. There's probably a 'message' to it somewhere, like the meaning of a human being being 'complete', and how anatomy's quirks are taken for granted. But aside from the message, it's just mind-blowing artistry, with a fascination with gyrating green matter and doors. I loved it.
2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Soviet Composition, 27 October 2002
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is Svankmejer's most celebrated work, at least on IMDB. It is brief compared to the more visually rich `Alice.' And the craft is high. It is short enough to avoid the tedium of his other projects,
Its appeal is that the artist is able to avoid his tendency to make sophomoric statements under the rubric of `surrealism.'
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 4: Has some interesting elements.
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|