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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘Václav Svankmajer’ tag

 

Jan Svankmajer: The Animator of Prague

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“Surrealism is not aesthetics. It is a philosophy,” says Jan Svankmajer in James Marsh’s short (25 mins) portrait for the BBC from 1990. This was broadcast at a time when Svankmajer’s films were receiving more attention in the UK than they had before or since, thanks in part to Channel 4′s screening and funding of […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {surrealism}, {television} | 3 comments »

 


Richter’s “Anchor Blocks”

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It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have paid much attention to illustrations from a toy catalogue from 1880 if I hadn’t recognised the pictures from their fleeting appearance in Jan Svankmajer’s Jabberwocky (1971). One sequence in Svankmajer’s animated film has a battalion of toy soldiers emerging from the sleeves of a boy’s sailor suit. […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {design}, {film}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


Jan Svankmajer, Director

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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 […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {film}, {surrealism}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


Don Juan, a film by Jan Svankmajer

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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 […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {film} | 2 comments »

 


The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope

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The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope (1983) is the third and best of three Gothic shorts made by Jan Svankmajer, the two earlier works being Castle of Otranto (1973–79) and The Fall of the House of Usher (1980). Svankmajer combines Poe’s famous tale of Inquistion torment with A Torture by Hope by Auguste Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, […]

Posted in {film}, {horror} | Comments Off

 


The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello

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This animated short by Anthony Lucas isn’t exactly obscure but I’ve only just noticed that the distributor has the whole film available for viewing on YouTube. The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello blends silhouetted characters and decor with elaborate steam-powered machinery in a manner that looks like the kind of thing Lotte Reiniger might have […]

Posted in {animation}, {film} | 6 comments »

 


Three Fragments of a Lost Tale

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I hadn’t come across sculptor John Frame’s animated work before so my thanks to John Burridge for the recommendation. Three Fragments of a Lost Tale is part of a larger project, The Tale of The Crippled Boy, which is described at Frame’s website. Being a collection of fragments, this film is necessarily mysterious although I […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {film}, {sculpture} | 7 comments »

 


Achilles by Barry JC Purves

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I wondered how to focus on the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus without the others getting in the way. This intense physical relationship developed into the focus of the film, rather than any more Harryhausenesque aspects of the Greek myths. Intimacy had not really been treated seriously with puppets… Barry JC Purves Several people seemed […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {gay} | 3 comments »

 


The Torchbearer by Václav Svankmajer

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Svankmajer? Yes, Václav is the son of Czech Surrealists Jan Svankmajer and Eva Svankmajerová, and The Torchbearer (2005) is the third of three short films he’s directed. Like the celebrated films of his father this is an animated piece in which a faceless warrior navigates a ruined labyrinth where lethal traps are prepared by a […]

Posted in {animation}, {film} | 9 comments »

 


 



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