Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Czech Film Series: Selected Short Films of Jan Svankmajer

Thu, March 20, 2014 | BUR 231

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Czech Film Series: Selected Short Films of Jan Svankmajer

The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies is proud to announce the fifth screening of the renowned Czech Film Series. All films will be shown every Thursday at 6:30pm in BUR 231.

This week's screening will show selected short films by Jan Svankmajer, including the following shorts:

The Coffin Factory/Rakvičkárna (1968): Two puppets, Punch and Joey, fight to the death over the custody of a live guinea pig. Svankmajer won the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival's Josef von Sternberg award for The Coffin Factory in 1968.

Dimensions of Dialogue/Možnosti dialogu (1982): Clay figures are animated using stop-motion to illustrate three forms of dialogue: "Factual Discussion," "Passionate Discourse," and "Exhaustive Conversation." Dimensions of Dialogue won the Grand Prix from the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the Golden Bear for Best Short Film, and the C.I.D.A.L.C. Award (Honorable Mention) from the Berlin International Film Festival in 1983, and was named by Monty Python's Terry Gilliam as one of the ten best animated films of all time.

Darkness Light Darkness/Tma Světlo Tma (1990): A human body reconstructs itself piece by piece as all of its parts crowd into a small room, and eventually sorts out which piece goes where after some experimentation. Darkness Light Darkness won the grand prize at Cinanima in 1989, and an honorable mention for Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival and a special jury prize at the Cracow Film Festival in 1990.

Food/Jídlo (1992): This film is divided into three segments: "Breakfast," in which a man is transformed into a dumb-waiter-style breakfast dispenser after consuming breakfast, and the man who obtains brekfast from him suffers the same fate in turn; "Lunch," in which two diners eat everything within their reach after failing to catch the waiter's attention; and "Dinner," in which diners consume various meals composed of portions of their own bodies.

Films are free and open to the public.*

Films are in Czech with English subtitles.

Other films in this series:

March 27       Conspirators of Pleasure/Spiklenci slasti (1996) – A full-length feature by Jan Svankmajer.

April 3           Rex-patriates (2004) by Nancy Bishop – The series’ only live-action film—a mockumentary of expatriate life in Prague—it still features a touch of things puppet. The film will be introduced by one of its producers, Jeffrey Brown, and followed by a Q&A.

April 10         One Night in One City/Jedné noci v jednom městě (2007) – An adult black comedy puppet film by award-winning contemporary puppeteer Jan Balej.

April 17         Toys In The Attic (2009) – A stop-motion animated family feature film by Czech director Jiří Barta. The English dub version was directed by Vivian Schilling and features the voices of Forest Whitaker, Joan Cusack, and Cary Elwes. The film was a Czech, Slovak, and Japanese co-production.

 *While some of the films in the series are suitable for viewers of all ages, many of the films include substantial adult content. (Puppets have sex too!) Please check film ratings online or email for a recommendation for children.

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