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 ...
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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 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 »
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 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.
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 »
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 »
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
Quite good, but I wish Svankmajer would use more animation
Perhaps Jan Svankmajer is sick of the medium of stop-motion animation which first made him famous. Perhaps he's trying to move into pure filmmaking. And perhaps I shouldn't criticize him for that. He's actually an excellent live-action director as well, which Little Otik (in Czech "Otesanek," "Greedy Guts," the name of an Eastern European fairy tale from which the script is adapted) demonstrates. But I'm not sure he wants to leave stop-motion animation behind. It seems to me more like he wants to use it more often in the film, but he didn't have the money. If you're interested in Svankmajer's work, start with his short stop-motion films, then move to Alice, his version of Alice in Wonderland, and then move to this film and then Faust.
As for the film itself, it's imperfect. Its biggest problem is that it's overlong. There's really not enough meat in it (well, there's enough meat literally). It can move slowly, especially nearer the beginning. Also, the ending is a bit abrupt. Still, there're a lot of great scenes and set pieces. It can also be very funny. It's certainly the most humorous side of Jan Svankmajer that I've seen. 8/10.
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