There are two versions of Kostnice. Originally the film was accompanied only by the commentary of the ossuary guide. Svankmajer asked Zdenek Liska to write the music that in the second version replaced the commentary. First version was distributed on video by Krátký Film in Czech Republic. Version with music is available from The British Film Institute/Connoisseur Video. See more »
I think the setting is far more interesting than the film itself.
While I am a big lover of the films of Jan Svankmajer, I am not blinded to the fact that occasionally he was NOT as his best...and that clearly can be said about "The Ossuary". While the setting is amazing and make the film worth seeing, the filmmaker's techniques in this particular film are distracting and just plain bad. I know Svankmajer fans would blanch at me saying this, but the film seemed cheap and poorly made.
There is a crypt in old Czechoslovakia that contains the bones of 70,000 people. But the monks decided to arrange the skulls and skeletons in amazingly ornate and creepy ways...such as a chandelier made up of these parts. I've seen pictures and documentaries about it before...but none like this film. Instead of showing it in the usual way, the film looks as if was made with an 8mm camera and the edits are intentionally annoying and awful. All this is narrated by a rather boring guide who is about as compelling to listen to as a dog with adenoids...accompanied with the rattling of bones. All in all, this is a case where the film couldn't help but be interesting but somehow Svankmajer, in an odd fluke, makes the absolute least of it. A very disappointing short film.
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