Friday, November 5, 2010

Jan Svankmajer

Jan Svankmajer is a Czech filmmaker and animator.  His work with stop motion animation is some of the most incredible I have ever seen.  And sometimes he uses puppets!  His work tends to be very dark and surreal, with found objects, sometimes including preserved body parts.  Very interesting but not or everyone.  Here are some of his short films, as well as excerpts from several features.

I am an "Alice in Wonderland Snob."  I have probably seen a dozen different versions.  This was my favorite version for a long time.  Here is the Caterpillar Scene from "Alice."
More images from "Alice."

(This is my new favorite version, a 3-hour made-for-TV Syfy film.  The most clever version I have seen yet.  Plus, I have a crush on the Mad Hatter: Preview.)

"Darkness Light Darkness," the short film featured on the "Alice" DVD.  As a child, I refused to rent this film from Blockbuster because of thumbnail image representing this film on the back of the case (seen below).

Stop motion with meat!  "Meat Love."

Stop motion with people, called "Food."  People in a restaurant are tired of waiting for food, so they start eating everything...including each other.
"Food" (1992)

"Little Otik" is a Czech tale in which a couple cannot have children, so they make a child out of a piece of wood.  By a stroke of magic, it comes to life, and begins eating people, growing all the while.  Here is an excerpt from the feature film.

Svankmajer's "Punch & Judy."

Svankmajer's "Jabberwocky."

Excerpts from Svankmajer's feature film "Faust," based on the Kit Marlowe's classic tale.
"Faust" (1994)

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