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Czech Directors - Jan Svankmajer

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Featured Selection


Alice
Jan Svankmajer
Jan Svankmajer, the Czech master of animation, has fulfilled a lifetime ambition in this interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. Svankmajer's Alice remains true to Carroll's original, but bears the stamp of his own distinctive style and obsessions in this combination of animation and live action filmmaking. "Brilliantly inventive...a piercing, original vision" (Terrence Rafferty, The New Yorker). The DVD includes an extra Svankmajer short, Darkness Light Darkness (1989, 6 mins.). Czechoslovakia, 1988, 85 mins.
DVD | $44.95  


Czech Directors - Jan Svankmajer


Alice
Jan Svankmajer
Jan Svankmajer, the Czech master of animation, has fulfilled a lifetime ambition in this interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. Svankmajer's Alice remains true to Carroll's original, but bears the stamp of his own distinctive style and obsessions in this combination of animation and live action filmmaking. "Brilliantly inventive...a piercing, original vision" (Terrence Rafferty, The New Yorker). The DVD includes an extra Svankmajer short, Darkness Light Darkness (1989, 6 mins.). Czechoslovakia, 1988, 85 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer
Jan Svankmajer
A collection of shorts by the influential Czech animator, Jan Svankmajer. Using a combination of puppets, actors and stop-motion animation, his dark, surreal films have been an influence on filmmakers from the Brothers Quay to Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam. Includes The Fall of the House of Usher (1980, 15 mins.), A Game with Stones (1965, 8 mins.), Et Cetera (1966, 8 mins.), Punch and Judy (1966, 10 mins.), The Flat (1968, 13 mins.), Picnic with Weissmann (1969, 13 mins.), A Quiet Week in the House (1969, 19 mins.), Dimensions of Dialogue (1982, 12 mins.), Down to the Cellar (1982, 15 mins.), The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope (1983, 15 mins.), Meat Love (1989, 1 min.), Flora (1989, 20 secs.), The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (1990, 10 mins.), and Food (1992, 17 mins.). 2-DVD set. Includes BBC documentary The Animator of Prague (James Marsh, 1990, 27 mins.), essay ("Filmmaker as Alchemist"), Svankmajer poems and artwork, and biography/filmography. Czech Republic, 1965-1992, 183 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer: Vol. 1
Jan Svankmajer
A collection of shorts by the influential Czech animator, Jan Svankmajer. Using a combination of puppets, actors and stop-motion animation, his dark, surreal films have been an influence on filmmakers from the Brothers Quay to Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam. Includes The Fall of the House of Usher (1980, 15 mins.), A Game with Stones (1965, 8 mins.), Et Cetera (1966, 8 mins.), Punch and Judy (1966, 10 mins.), The Flat (1968, 13 mins.), Picnic with Weissmann (1969, 13 mins.) and A Quiet Week in the House (1969, 19 mins.). Czechoslovakia, 1965-80, 86 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Conspirators of Pleasure
Jan Svankmajer
Although largely a live-action film, Jan Svankmajer's strange, otherworldly depiction of the bizarre, solitary sexual activities of six people is very much in the spirit of his surreal, stop-motion animated films Alice and Faust. Forgoing any explanation by dialogue, Svankmajer allows his distinctive visual artistry to convey the odd, sometimes nightmarish fantasy world his characters occupy. "To describe Conspirators of Pleasure as a live-action cartoon is a little like calling James Joyce's Ulysses a salty Irish yarn" (Stephen Holden, New York Times). Also included is a Svankmajer live-action/animation short, Food (1992, 16 mins.), a three-part exploration of consumption. Czech Republic/Switzerland/Great Britain, 1996, 85 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Faust
Jan Svankmajer
Jan Svankmajer's long-awaited follow-up to his acclaimed Alice is an equally bizarre version of the myth of Dr. Faustus. Combining live action with stop-motion animation, Svankmajer has created an unsettling universe presided over by diabolic life-size marionettes and haunted by skulking human messengers from hell. Czechoslovakia, 1994, 97 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Jan Svankmajer: The Ossuary and Other Tales
Jan Svankmajer
Essentially the third volume of collected shorts by Czech animator Jan Svankmajer, this masterful anthology contains dark, surreal works that display the filmmaker's unique combination of puppets, actors, and stop-motion animation. Macabre, witty, and perverse, the collection includes the following short films: The Last Trick (1964, 12 mins.), Don Juan (1970, 31 mins.), The Garden (1968, 19 mins.), Historia Naturae (1967, 9 mins.), Johann Sebastian Bach (1965, 10 mins.), The Ossuary (1970, 10 mins.), The Otrants Castle (1973-1979, 17 mins.), Darkness Light Darkness (1989, 8 mins.), and Manly Games (1988, 12 mins.). In Czech with English subtitles. Czechoslovakia, 1964-1988, 118 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Little Otik
Jan Svankmajer
Surrealist film master Jan Svankmajer (Faust, Alice) combines his distinctive approaches to live-action and animation with this creepy but very funny movie based on an old Czech legend. A childless woman's maternal longings transform a crudely carved wooden doll into a living creature with an appetite that soon makes real trouble for some of the neighbors. "Rivals The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby and Eraserhead as a disturbing treatise on the fear of parenthood" (Andrew Johnston, The New York Times). In Czech with English subtitles. The DVD includes Svankmajer's 1969 short, The Flat, plus an interview from Sight and Sound, excerpts from the director's production diary, the original trailer, and a behind-the-scenes photo archive. Czech Republic/Great Britain, 2000, 126 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Lunacy
Jan Svankmajer
Another stroke of otherworldly genius from the master of Czech animation, Jan Svankmajer, Lunacy combines live-action filmmaking and stop-motion animation with kinky sex, Euro-trash violence, black comedy, and frisky meat puppets. Set in nineteenth century rural France, a young man becomes submersed in the nightmarish world of a mysterious, debauched Marquis, played by Jan Triska (The People vs. Larry Flynt). The provocative film is loosely based on two short stories by Edgar Allen Poe and inspired by the works of the Marquis de Sade. "Dark, scary, and yucky...The last true surrealist" (J. Hoberman, Village Voice). Includes The Making of Lunacy, behind-the-scenes photos, theatrical trailer, and a print interview with Jan Svankmajer. In Czech with English subtitles. Czech Republic/Slovakia, 2006, 118 mins.
DVD | $44.95