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Jan Svankmajer
portrait

Date of Birth: Sep 4, 1934

Country: Czech Republic

Biography: One of the great Czech filmmakers, Jan Svankmajer was born in 1934 in Prague where he still lives. Svankmajer made his first film in 1964 and for over thirty years has made some of the most memorable and unique animated films ever made, gaining a reputation as one of the world's foremost animators, and influencing filmmakers from Tim Burton to The Brothers Quay.

Total Titles at Criticker: 35 - You've Seen 0

Picture submitted by pilgermann

Find more information about Jan Svankmajer at The Internet Movie Database

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Titles You Haven't Rated: Director (35) | Writer (32) | Actor (7)
Ordered by Year | PSI
Hmyz (2018)
We are at a local pub in a small town. The pub is empty except for six amateur actors sitting in a corner. They've met to rehearse "The Insect Play" by the Čapek brothers. On a raised platform across the room we see a stage, set for Act II of the play. As the rehearsal progresses, the characters of the play are born and die with no regard to time. The actors slowly become one with them and some of them experience frightening transformations.
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Surviving Life (Theory and Practice) (2010)
The film uses a mix of cutout animation from photographs and live-action segments, and tells the story of a married man who lives a double life in his dreams, where he meets another woman. (wikipedia)
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Lunacy (2005)
The latest provocation from surrealist master Jan Svankmajer is based on two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and inspired by the works of the Marquis de Sade. Lunacy combines live action and stop-motion, sex and violence, grand guignol terror and gallows humor, and a lot of animated meat. (Zeitgeist Films)
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The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer: The Early Years Vol. 1 (2003)
A collection of Jan Svankmajer's short films.
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Little Otik (2000)
When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a stump in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than that of a normal child. (imdb)
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Conspirators of Pleasure (1996)
Six outwardly average individuals have elaborate fetishes they indulge with surreptitious care... (imdb)
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Faust (1994)
A very free adaptation of Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus', Goethe's 'Faust' and various other treatments... (imdb)
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Jídlo (1992)
Jídlo (1992) - Short Film
BREAKFAST: After eating breakfast, a man is transformed into an elaborate dumb-waiter-style breakfast dispenser - and the same fate befalls the man who obtains breakfast from him. LUNCH: After failing to catch the waiter's eye, two would-be diners end up eating everything within reach. DINNER: Portraits of various meals made up of human organs. (imdb)
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The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (1990)
A bust of Stalin is cut open on an operating table, leading to an elaborate animated depiction of Czech history from 1948 (the Communist takeover) to 1989 (the Velvet Revolution). (imdb)
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Animated Self-Portraits (1989)
An animated film compiled by David Ehrlich consisting of 27 animators from different countries all explaining themselves through their animation. (imdb)
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Flora (1989)
Flora (1989) - Short Film
half a minute on the fragility of existence with decomposing fruit
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Darkness/Light/Darkness (1989)
A human body gradually reconstructs itself as its various component parts crowd themselves into a small room and eventually, after much experimentation, sort out which part goes where. (imdb)
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Meat Love (1989)
Meat Love (1989) - Short Film
1-minute long stop motion animation.
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Another Kind of Love (1988)
A music video animated by Jan Svankmajer.
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Muzné hry (1988)
Muzné hry (1988) - Short Film
A man sits down to watch a football match, which seems to consist of the players being violently mutilated in various inventive ways. The players then leave the football pitch and invade the spectator's flat... (imdb)
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Alice (1988)
A memorably bizarre screen version of Lewis Carroll's novel 'Alice in Wonderland', mixing one live actor (Alice) with a huge variety of sinister animated puppets (imdb)
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Do pivnice (1983)
Do pivnice (1983) - Short Film
A little girl goes down to the basement cellar to fetch some potatoes, and finds all her hidden fears about the cellar depicted in animated form. (imdb)
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Kyvadlo, jáma a nadeje (1983)
In one of two adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories - the other was an adaptation of "The Fall of the House of Usher" - Jan Svankmajer puts his own spin on things. (IMDB Comments)
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Dimensions of Dialogue (1982)
A three-part depiction of various forms of communication. 'Exhaustive Discussion' depicts three heads (made up of fruit, kitchen utensils and writing implements respectively) endlessly devouring and regurgitating each other. 'Passionate Discourse' shows two clay figures romantically intertwined, and the problems with dealing with the end product of their passion, while 'Factual Conversation' shows two animated heads playing a bizarre variant of the old scissors-paper-stone game. (imdb)
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Zánik domu Usheru (1981)
In this animated version of Edgar Allan Poe's story, a traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to find that the sibling inhabitants are living under a mysterious family curse: The brother's senses have become painfully acute, while his sister has become nearly catatonic. As the visitor's stay at the mansion continues, the effects of the curse reach their terrifying climax, and he must choose between his concern for his hosts' safety, and his own. (imdb)
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Otrantský zámek (1977)
"The Castle of Otranto" is animation/short/mocumentary based on "The Castle of Otranto", a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole, the first Gothic novel. The novel takes place in Otranto in southern Italy. In Jan Svankmajer's mocumentary, the amateur archaeologist Dr Vozáb has set to prove that the supernatural ghost love story takes place not in Italy but in Otranto Castle near Nachod in Czechoslovakia. (imdb)
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Leonarduv denik (1972)
Animated drawings inspired by Leonardo da Vinci are intercut with seemingly unrelated (but in fact strangely similar) live-action scenes. (imdb)
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Zvahlav aneb Saticky Slameného Huberta (1971)
The action is set in a doll's house mock-up of a Victorian nursery. Cardboard figurines dance, china dolls consume each other, armies of tin soldiers are pummeled to dust by a porcelain baby whilst a large black cat weaves a pathway of destruction through the surrounding chaos. Jabberwocky celebrates childhood, but with its anarchic and violent imagery, it is no sugared idyll.
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Kostnice (1970)
Kostnice (1970) - Short Film
A non-narrative voyage round Sedlec Ossuary, which has been constructed from over 50,000 human skeletons (victims of the Black Death). (imdb)
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Don Sanche (1970)
Don Sanche (1970) - Short Film
The age-old story of Don Juan, played by giant puppets. (imdb)
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Tichý týden v dome (1969)
A man, apparently on the run, takes shelter in a dilapidated house. Every day, he drills a hole through a wall and looks into one of the rooms, each time seeing a different surreal vision... (imdb)
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Picknick mit Weissmann (1968)
In one of Jan Svankmajer's many mind-blowing, deliberately weird short films, a picnic consists of a suit sunbathing, a phonograph playing records, a shovel digging holes, and a camera taking pictures. (IMDB Comments)
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Zahrada (1968)
Zahrada (1968) - Short Film
Frank visits his friend Josef, who introduces him to his pedigree rabbits and his wife Mary. Frank is more interested in the slightly unsettling fact that Josef and Mary's garden fence is entirely made up of living people holding hands. Finally, Frank asks Josef how he manages to keep the fence together... (imdb)
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Byt (1968)
Byt (1968) - Short Film
A nondescript man is trapped in a sinister flat, where nothing seems to obey the laws of nature. (imdb)
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Historia Naturae, Suita (1967)
A eight-part animatied portrait of various species, accompanied by a different style of music. (imdb)
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Punch and Judy (1966)
Two puppets, Punch and Judy, do battle to the death over the custody of a live guinea pig. (imdb)
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Et Cetera (1966)
Et Cetera (1966) - Short Film
A small, animated figure learns how to use a whip, a pair of wings and a house. (imdb)
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Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia G-moll (1965)
A man plays the Bach piece of the title on the organ, accompanied by images of stone walls with cracks and holes that grow and shrink, intercut with images of doors and wire-meshed windows. (imdb)
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A Game with Stones (1965)
Shows stones dripping out of a faucet every quarter hour and doing a series of wacky dances, contortions, and whatnot. (IMDB Comments)
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Poslední trik pana Schwarcewalldea a pana Edgara (1964)
Two magicians, Mr.Schwarzwald and Mr.Edgar, try to outdo each other in performing elaborate magic tricks, leading to a violent ending. (imdb)
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