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Posts Tagged ‘Jan Svankmajer’

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As I have always said, my aim is to make Surrealist documentaries. I want to show that our world is imaginative by nature, that you can look at it imaginatively. It has something that escapes the quotidian gaze. And it is possible to reveal it through the technique of animation. Animation thus becomes a sort of new alchemy…

Jan Svankmajer, Director: Part one | Part two | Part three | Part four

Previously on { feuilleton }
Don Juan, a film by Jan Svankmajer
The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope
Two sides of Liska
The Torchbearer by Václav Svankmajer

johncoulthart

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I’ve been reading Thomas Ligotti for the past week so here’s something Ligottian: a short film performed by life-size wooden puppets. Svankmajer’s production from 1969 conveys the Don Juan legend with actors masquerading as traditional Czech marionettes, the proceedings being scored by music from the great Zdenek Liska. No English subtitles on this one so if you don’t speak Czech or Russian you can either relish the mystery or take it as a prompt to buy a DVD. While we’re on the subject of Ligotti, the new Penguin edition of Songs of a Dead Dreamer/Grimscribe is published next week. I recommend it.- johncoulthart.com/

 

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Jan Švankmajer, ein am 4. September 1934 in Prag geborenenes Multitalent: seines Zeichens surrealistischer Filmemacher, Dichter, Zeichner und Objektkünstler, der außerhalb Tschechiens durch seine surrealistischen Animationen und Filme (zwischen 30 Sekunden und 95 Minuten) berühmt wurde. Vor allem die Regisseure Terry Gilliam und Tim Burton berufen sich in ihrer Arbeit immer wieder auf ihn als einen ihrer wichtigsten inspirierenden Vorbilder.

Švankmajer studierte Anfang der 50er Jahre zunächst am Institut für angewandte Kunst und dann an der Prager Akademie der bildenden Künste. Seine Fachrichtung wurde das Marionettentheater. 1970 lernte er seine Frau, die surrealistische Malerin Eva Švankmajerova und den Organisator und Theoretiker der tschechischen Surrealisten-Gruppe, Vratislav Effenberg kennen, der er auch beitrat. Durch Alfred Radok und die Laterna Magica kam er zum Film. Sein erster Film war 1964 Posle dní trik pana Schwarcewalldea a pana Edgara (deutsch: Der letzte Trick des Herrn Schwarzewald und des Herrn Edgar). Von 1973 bis 1980 hatte er Berufsverbot, weil er angeblich politische Botschaften in seinen Kurzfilm Leonarduv deník (deutsch Leonardos Tagebuch) geschnitten hatte.- jan-svankmajer

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Alice is a 1988 fantasy film written and directed by Jan Švankmajer. Its original Czech title is Něco z Alenky, which means „Something from Alice“. It is a free adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s first Alice book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), about a girl who follows a white rabbit into a bizarre fantasy land. Alice is played by Kristýna Kohoutová. The film combines live action with stop motion animation, and is distinguished by its dark and uncompromising production design.

After more than two decades as a prolific director of short films, Alice became Švankmajer’s first venture into feature-length filmmaking. The director had been disappointed by other adaptations of Carroll’s book, which interpret it as a fairy tale. His aim was instead to make the story play out like an amoral dream. The film won the feature film award at the 1989 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.- http://networkawesome.com/2014-12-2/movie-alice-svankmajer-1988

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