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Dark Alchemy: The Films of Jan Svankmajer

Overview

Czech animator Jan Svankmajer is one of the most distinctive and influential of contemporary filmmakers. As a leading member of the Prague Surrealist Group, his work is linked to a rich avant-garde tradition and an uncompromising moral stance that brought frequent tensions with the authorities in the "normalization" years following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. This collection of essays presents a complete portrait of this fascinating filmmaker.
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Overview

Czech animator Jan Svankmajer is one of the most distinctive and influential of contemporary filmmakers. As a leading member of the Prague Surrealist Group, his work is linked to a rich avant-garde tradition and an uncompromising moral stance that brought frequent tensions with the authorities in the "normalization" years following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. This collection of essays presents a complete portrait of this fascinating filmmaker.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Czech filmmaker Svankmajer (b. 1934) first came to international attention in 1982, nearly 20 years after he started making his startling animations, highly influenced by the Czech Surrealist Group and folk puppetry. Here art scholars discuss him as a mannerist surrealist, the presence of objects in his early films, the force of imagination, and the film experiment. Also includes a interview conducted by letter and in four meetings in 1992 and 1993, a filmography, and several pages of black-and-white stills. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

PETER HAMES is Course Leader in Film, Television, and Radio Studies at Staffordshire University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The film experiment 7
Jan Svankmajer: a Mannerist Surrealist 48
Thinking through things: the presence of objects in the early films of Jan Svankmajer 78
Interview with Jan Svankmajer 96
The force of imagination 119
Jan Svankmajer: filmography 169
General bibliography 175
Index 184
Notes on contributors 202
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