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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 »
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half a minute on the fragility of existence with decomposing fruit
This is probably the shortest of the Jan Svankmajer short films- and by short it's comparable to the Stan Brakhage shorts that run about the length of a red light- but it's one of his very best. It's about a guy strapped to a bed, a man made up of a lot of vegetables and things, who quickly decomposes right in front of his extremely horrified eyes. It's about this in just visual terms, and brilliantly relayed like one of those horror-show PSA's for drugs, but it's also about mortality. A visceral reaction is the only way to go with this, and you can feel your skin crawl in these mere seconds of the vegetables turning into white-hot maggots and the man's eyes turning into mush. It's one thing to try and describe this to you, but to see it by Svankmajer and his crews' hands are another. Flora is a quick-shot of animation adrenaline to get you feeling for a moment how creepy it really is to decompose.
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