Friday, 8 July 2016

Jan Švankmajer: The Complete Short Films (1964 - 1992)

I've not watched the entire box of Jan Švankmajer shorts as yet but the ones that I have watched are terrific and I recommend them to anyone with even the slightest interest in experimental animation and film-making.

Currently, they can be had for as little as £15, which for 3 discs that cover an artist's entire short film work is pretty damn cheap. Go buy them now!

The Last Trick (1964)

Friendly rivalry turns nasty. Something I never noticed before is how the violin bow string passes through the hole in the key during Mr. Schwarzwald's First Trick.

Letterboxd Review

Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia G-moll (1965)

Absolutely beautiful and the organ music by J.S. Bach wasn't too shabby either.

Letterboxd Review

A Game with Stones (1965)

In his 3rd short it seems that Švankmajer really starts to understand what he can accomplish with stop-motion animation. It reminded me a little of the animations from BBC's Vision-On programme.

Letterboxd Review

Punch and Judy (1966)

The matches that Mr. Punch uses to light the candles over Joey's coffin are labelled "Rose of Peckham ". Where did a Czech filmmaker find matches from the East-End of London? Del Boy! And how do you do stop-motion with a guinea pig, unless... sniff

Letterboxd Review

The Garden (1968)

A non-animated and chillingly Kafkaesque story from Švankmajer. I'm not exactly sure what it's trying to say, but it's definitely saying something. Maybe something about collectivism (the rural setting, the garden, the vegetables and talk of food production) and the role of the community coming before the individual?

Letterboxd Review

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