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 »
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 sits down to watch a football match, which seems to consist of the players being violently mutilated in various inventive ways. The players then leave the football pitch and invade ... See full summary »
One of the inscriptions on the wall reads 'RULDOLPH II', reference to the sixteenth century Holy Roman Empire and King of Bohemia who was considered a passionate patron of the arts while he lived in Prague. In his service as court portraitist was Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a key source of inspiration for Svankmajer's films. See more »
There's something about art and artists. Sometimes the effect of the art isn't a conversation between the viewer and the artist, instead between the artist and the viewer. And often neither party knows it.
Its particularly apparent when the artist is damaged in some way and he or she create art that conveys that damage. This is common, I think because when there is a human trying to reach us, we allow an inadequate vehicle. I think the effect is so common and so well understood that weak artists, artists who cannot create powerful work, feign this dynamic.
Here we have an odd little student film, almost a student film. It conveys a world that doesn't work -- not comically but frustratingly as if it were deliberately teasing us. Whatever is behind this flat is evil.
Watch closely and you will see that the film is rather incompetent. But we don't notice, because as with Tim Burton we see the strange dude who made it. And we imagine what type of man he would have to be, and under what conditions he lives.
(I could have chosen a dozen filmmakers as examples and you would have equally known what I meant.) Either way, this is uninteresting.
Contrast this to "The Cube" of about the same time, the one by Jim Henson, also a puppeteer making the bridge to film-making. It is based on much the same notions. Yet Henson's little project is a marvel of competence, several competences.
What we have here instead is just a glass through which we see a sad man.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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