Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jan Svankmajer

Recently a friend gifted me with an example of the Quay Brothers stop animation, The Calligrapher.

I hadn't seen this one before, but after viewing a few more I recalled having seen the Quay Brothers many years ago. I can't remember where but it left me with an unsettled feeling that reminded me of a time about 10-12 years ago when I developed an interest in surrealist films. I spent a lot of time pausing the frames on unusual compositions and writing about what I saw there. One filmmaker that I seemed particularly drawn to was Jan Svankmajer. I often found myself sitting a friend down in front of the television and putting on a Svankmajer stop animation. Most people were repulsed by him which I never understood. His films are difficult to sit through, the pace is painfully slow (like chinese water torture), although it is worth it to find those hilarious moments. He has a wonderful sense of humor. There was one film, however, that I really enjoyed being swept away by. So much so that many years later I subconsciously based a series of photographs on the work. That film was Little Otik. Netflix it some rainy day.

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