In Prague, a professorial puppet, with metal pincers for hands and an open book for a hat, takes a boy as a pupil. First, the professor empties fluff and toys from the child's head, leaving...
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In Prague, a professorial puppet, with metal pincers for hands and an open book for a hat, takes a boy as a pupil. First, the professor empties fluff and toys from the child's head, leaving him without the top of his head for most of the film. The professor then teaches the lad about illusions and perspectives, the pursuit of an object through exploring a bank of drawers, divining an object, and the migration of forms. The child then brings out a box with a tarantula in it: the professor puts his "hands" into the box and describes what he feels. The boy receives a final lesson about animation and film making; then the professor gives him a brain and his own open-book hat.Written by
The Quay brothers style is at it's best here, with beautiful, surreal puppets telling the story of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer's life. The expressionist, stop-motion puppet work is perfectly suited to tell the story of Svankmajer's own surreal film-making. Split into several sections, the puppets (one expressing Svankmajer himself) act out the scenes, with maze-like, unidentifiable sets, dancing pins and a mesmerising soundtrack. All these elements combine into a treat for the eyes, and a severe hammering to the brain. The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer is a marvellous short, particularly of interest to fans of Svankmajer himself.
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