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Jan Svankmajer - Fridays at The Silent Movie Theatre

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Fridays at 7:30 pm:
THE PERVERSE PUPPETRY OF JAN SVANKMAJER

Unsurpassed in his tactile, uncanny approach to experimental animation, surrealist Czech master Jan Svankmajer's films have inspired a generation of directors, including Tim Burton and The Brothers Quay, to expand their confidence in what is visually and conceptually possible in cinema. Whether concerned with sexual taboos or blatant political satire, Svankmajer's vision is always off-kilter, mordantly funny, and oddly sincere. - The Silent Movie Theater

Jan Svankmeyer is a Czech film-maker who has pioneered his own dark, foreboding, yet often delightful and amusing style of stop-motion animation. He not only animates random objects, but brings to life his own bizarre creations. His creatures are often strange hybrids of bones, taxidermy and mechanical pieces. Food, and its combination with inedible items figure prominently, as does a heavy emphasis on sound effects..

Alice - 12/7 @ 7:30pm
The first time I saw the film Alice at the Nuart, it completely changed my expectations of what animation could accomplish. This animation uses a combination of live actors, stop-motion puppets and inanimate objects brought to life to portray Alice in Wonderland is the surreal environment it truly deserves. It is somehow simultaneously creepy and comedic. I think what makes me consider this his greatest work is the solid classic storyline combined with fascinating new techniques and a heavy dose of humor.

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Faust 12/14 @ 7:30pm
Faust is much more modern and Kafkaesque. I found it less accessable, and my primary memory of the film involves people and huge puppets inexplicably appearing and disappearing behind set flats in a garden. I believe a major theme is the dissolution of the fourth wall, bringing the puppeteer from behind the set, and bringing the audience onto the stage. It is darker than Alice, with a complicated plot and complex symbolism. You could probably write a dissertation on this one.

Conspirators of Pleasure, shown with short film - Food 12/21 @ 7:30pm
When I first discovered the then-obscure collection of Svankmajer shorts for sale on the internet, I could not buy it fast enough. Included in the collection is the three-part Food. It contains three animated scenes of people eating food from humanoid vending machines, eating tablecloths, flowers, and parts of their own bodies. After having already watched a number of plotless experimental explorations into animation, even at a brief 15 minutes, Food was a little more than I could take. Perhaps on its own it will be more palatable. Also, it is being shown with Conspirators of Pleasure. I have yet to see this one, but from reading this description, it is not to be missed.

Lunacy - 12/28 @ 7:30pm
Lunacy is Svankmajer's latest offering. Edgar Allen Poe + the Marquis de Sade + animated meat + orgies + grand guignol + Svankmajer = A night to remember.

The Cinefamily @ The Silent Movie Theatre
611 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 655-2510