Man looking into a mirror by Švankmajer and Magritte

Czech Surrealist filmmaker-animator has been making films since the mid-’60s and i’m only just discovering the marvelous weirdness of Jan Švankmajer.

At the film house in Delft they had a special screening last night. Six short films of Jan Švankmaje early work – a mix between motion animation, puppets and live-action. His stories are fantastic, unpredictable, with a mix of weird and funny moments. Perhaps it’s not for everyone but i really appreciate the painstaking process of stop-motion animation and Švankmajer certainly didn’t disappoint.

There was one that stood out from the rest, Byt (The Flat) 1968. This film is crazy, black and white stop-motion masterpiece about a man trapped in a sinister flat, where nothing seems to obey the laws of nature. There was one scene that made me feel like i was watching René Magritte’s painting Not to be Reproduced come to life. Just like the painting the man looks into the mirror and only sees the back of his own head, a backwards image.

Not to be Reproduced (La reproduction interdite, 1937) by the Belgian surrealist René Magritte, located at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

{Source, puppet image The Last Tricky and Byt and René Magritte}

 

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