Jan Svankmajer is a Czech sculptor and filmmaker born in Prague. He studied at the College of Applied Arts in Prague and later in the Department of Puppetry at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. After studies Jan Svankmajer started working as a theatre director, chiefly in association with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre. He's best known for his surrealistic animated films, which had a huge influence on many filmmakers such us Tim Burton, Brothers Quay and Terry Gilliam.
Dimensions of Dialogue is a short animated film presenting various forms of communication. It's divided into three parts and each part presents another dimension of dialogue: eternity, passion and exhaustion. In the first part - dialog, we can see two different figures in a human shape. One is made of cookware, such as cutlery and porcelain. The other one is made of fruits and vegetables. The characters are having a fight and are eating each other, but then they reshape into a different character.
HOW JAN SVANKMAJER BECAME AN INSPIRATION FOR THE QUAY BROTHERS?
The Quay Brothers were both studying ilustration at Philadelphia Collage of Art. After graduation they came to London to take up studies at Royal Collage of Art. In 1972 they came back to USA, where they earned some money working as waiters and book limners. After 7 years they came back to England, where they opened their own film studio, Konnick. Every since then they make many animation fims, one feature film and a couple of commercials and music videos. In 1997 they demanded to have all their work erased from the Internet.
"Street of Crocodiles" is a beautiful, mysterious animation inspired by equally admirable tale by a Polish, valued prose writer - Bruno Schulz. It's a story about a provincial museum, where one of the exhibits is a mysterious wooden machine. Apparently thanks to it the guard is able to watch an old map, on which the Street of Crocodiles is indicated by a white spot. The film has its motto at the end, quoting Schulz' words from the last page of his book. "The Street of Crocodiles was a concession of our city to modernity and metropolitan corruption. Obviously, we were unable to afford anything better than a paper imitation, a montage of illustrations cut out from last year's mouldering newspapers."
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