Cycles of life, with fantasy elements. An ax splits wood. Bits of split wood move in stop-motion; one piece has a woman's face near the top. Water streams in torrents; patches of snow give ... See full summary »
Using an array of gloves in different styles and from different historical periods, the film is a short history of the cinema - from silent movies via pastiches of Buñuel and Fellini and ... See full summary »
Laid-off old mannequins spend their cracked and broken lives in an old, abandoned warehouse. New mannequins are brought to the warehouse. They are old as well, but from a younger generation... See full summary »
An alarm clock wakes a man who washes his face, has breakfast, drives his car to work, spins records, returns home, and takes his pills. It's a world of circles - often seen from above: an ... See full summary »
I first decided that I had to see this film after seeing a few video clips of it at a website (if you want to find them - and trust me, it's worth it - go to a search engine and type in "Krysar clips"). The animation style was like nothing that I had ever seen before. If anything, it was like cubism in motion - more like the 1920 expressionistic horror film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (except in colour) than any traditional animation. Perspectives are skewed, characters are disfigured, and everything is made out of a material that you don't usually hear about in connection with animation - wood.
Having decided to watch it, I did a bit of searching and found that it was available on two different DVDs. First, there was a DVD available through some Japanese sites called "Labyrinth Of Darkness & Light" which featured most of Jiri Barta's work including Krysar (it came out to 118 minutes in total). Unfortunately, it cost 6000Yen, which is about $55USD - a little too expensive for me (EDIT: As of September 16, 2006, this DVD has been released in the US for a much cheaper price, and with English subtitles! This is definitely the version to get!). Second, there was another version of Krysar available by itself on a PAL R2 DVD for around 20 Euro on several French online stores. That's the one I bought - the PAL R2 thing wasn't an issue for me because I have a modded DVD player (they cost as little as $80 nowadays). This DVD also included a colourful 10-page booklet with an interview with Jiri Barta.
There were no English subtitles on my DVD, but this wasn't really problem because outside of the introduction all characters speak only gibberish in the film, a technique which works surprisingly well and also makes this film transcend language barriers.
Once I finally watched the film, I was simply amazed. Not only was the visual design simply sublime at all levels, but the music was memorable and appropriate, and the film worked really well as a story - the fears that I had about this film turning out to be just eye candy were completely allayed. There were many scenes in this movie which were genuinely powerful, a fair few which were amusing (in a grotesque way), and some which were quite beautiful. Even now as I write this, there are many scenes that I still remember vividly - the scene where the Hamelin city elite engage in debauchery, spilling wine and gnawing on meat bones; the scenes where the rats take complete control of the city at night; the scene in which a painting is created as the pied piper plays on his pipe; and many others.
If you're a fan of the unusual, and don't mind seeing something so completely different from Hollywood and Disney movies (which is not to say that there's nothing to appreciate in Hollywood/Disney movies), you really owe it to yourself to see this film. Watch the film clips that you can find on a Google search, and if you like what you see, just remember - there's a lot more of that in the full film, and those aren't even the best bits.
One thing that I DISLIKED though was that the "Krysar" DVD came without a chapter select, which in my opinion is inexcusable for a film that's nearly an hour long. Still, the image and sound quality were very good. I guess life can't be perfect. ;)
If you have any more questions about this film or the DVD, don't hesitate to send me a private message (you can do this by clicking on my name at the top of this review).
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