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 »
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 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 »
Frank visits his friend Josef, who introduces him to his pedigree rabbits and his wife Mary. Frank is more interested in the slightly unsettling fact that Josef and Mary's garden fence is ... 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 »
When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a stump 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 that of a normal child. Written by
bob the moo
I had seen other films by Jan Svankmajer, so I had high expectations when I went to see this latest release. I was not disappointed. This is possibly Svankmajers most accessible feature film, as it follows a simple linear narrative on a parallel to a fairytale discovered by one character.
The film follows a couple who are unable to have children. Whilst in the woods one day, The man pulls up a tree stump which faintly resembles a baby. In jest, he gives this to his missus who, in her desperation, believes it is a real child. After a few exasperated protests from the skeptical father, she takes it home with her and the couple goes to great lengths to conceal the young root baby from the prying eyes of the neighbours. The child becomes difficult to hide as its appetite grows and, following the rules of the fairytale, it develops a taste for human flesh.
Despite the grim subject matter, the film remains fairly light hearted. There is some well-appreciated humour from the all-too-accurate characters, and despite the films length, I was not reduced to clock-watching. Svankmajers trademark stop-motion was sparce, but had all the more effect when it was used.
Svankmajer has used the mediums of film and animation to question the possibilities and blurs the line between fable and reality. This would not be credible, were it not for the accurate and witty insights into modern living and the characters it breeds. As it was, I found myself constantly questioning whether, maybe, perhaps, there's the slimmest of chances that the stuff of fairytales is. real.
I urge you to see it. Its f***ing brilliant.
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