Search a film or person :
FacebookConnectionRegistration
Jan Švankmajer is a Director, Scriptwriter, Producer, Editor, Production Design, Costume Design and Animation Tchèque born on 4 september 1934 at Prague (Republique tcheque)

Jan Švankmajer

Jan Švankmajer
If you like this person, let us know!
Nationality Republique tcheque
Birth 4 september 1934 (85 years) at Prague (Republique tcheque)

Jan Švankmajer ([ˈjan ˈʃvaŋkmajɛr]; born 4 September 1934) is a Czech filmmaker and artist whose work spans several media. He is a self-labeled surrealist known for his surreal animations and features, which have greatly influenced other artists such as Terry Gilliam, the Brothers Quay, and many others.

Biography

Après avoir étudié la création de décors à l'École des arts appliqués de Prague de 1950 à 1954, Jan Švankmajer entre à la faculté d'art dramatique de l'Académie des beaux-arts de Prague, dans la section marionnettes. Il commence sa carrière avec le Théâtre de masques et le Black Theater avant d'intégrer en 1962 le célèbre théâtre de marionnettes Laterna magika.

Jan Švankmajer réalise son premier court-métrage en 1964 : Le Dernier Truc de M. Schwarzwald et de M. Edgar (Poslední trik pana Schwarcewalldea a pana Edgara), influencé (comme pour tout le reste de sa carrière) par le théâtre de marionnettes, le surréalisme et le maniérisme.

À la fin des années cinquante, il rencontre la peintre tchèque Eva Dvořáková avec qui il se marie en 1960.
En 1970, par l'intermédiaire du peintre surréaliste d'origine cubaine Jorge Camacho, membre du groupe surréaliste parisien de passage à Prague, tous deux prennent contact avec le poète et théoricien surréaliste tchèque Vratislav Effenberger. Ils intègrent peu après le Groupe surréaliste de Prague, dont Jan Svankmajer fait toujours partie.

Usually with

Jiří Lábus
Jiří Lábus
(3 films)
Juraj Herz
Juraj Herz
(2 films)
Jan Kraus
Jan Kraus
(2 films)
Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
(2 films)
Jan Hartl
Jan Hartl
(1 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Jan Švankmajer (20 films)

Display filmography as list

Director

Surviving Life (Theory and Practice), 1h49
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin Republique tcheque
Genres Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Animation
Actors Klara Issova, Zuzana Kronerová, Jana Oľhová
Rating72% 3.638813.638813.638813.638813.63881
Film de semi animation complètement déjanté que nous propose Jan Švankmajer. On nous y présente un homme qui fait d’étranges rêves et qui consultera une psychanalyste pour tenter de les interpréter. Ces rêves lui permettent de côtoyer un homme qui lui ressemble, mais en plus jeune, et une jeune femme qu’il aimerait bien rencontrer dans le monde réel. D’ailleurs, à un certain point, le rêve et la réalité ne se confondent-ils pas? Il y a aussi cette maladie d’acheter des billets de loterie en pensant qu’il va gagner une fortune..
Lunacy
Lunacy (2005)
, 1h58
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin Republique tcheque
Genres Drama, Comedy, Horror
Actors Jan Tříska, Anna Geislerová
Rating72% 3.6477253.6477253.6477253.6477253.647725
Jean Berlot (Liska) is a deeply troubled man who has been haunted by violent hallucinations since the death of his mother, who was committed to a mental institution when she passed on. While arranging his mother's funeral, Jean meets a fellow inmate who claims to be the Marquis de Sade (Triska), and lives as if he's in 18th-century France rather than the Czech Republic in 2005. Jean strikes up an alliance with De Sade, though they can hardly be called friends, and after becoming an unwilling accomplice to De Sade's debauchery, Jean joins him at a hospital run by Dr. Murlloppe (Dusek), who offers "Purgative Therapy" for people who aren't mad but could be in the future. Jean falls for a beautiful nurse named Charlota (Geislerova), who claims she's being held at the hospital against her will; in time, Jean hatches a plan to liberate her and the inmates, though he learns the truth is even more disturbing than he's been led to believe.
Little Otik, 2h12
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin Republique tcheque
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Horror comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Animation
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Comedy horror films, Children's films
Actors Jan Hartl, Tomáš Hanák, Jiří Lábus
Rating72% 3.6482653.6482653.6482653.6482653.648265
Karel Horák (Jan Hartl) and Božena Horáková (Veronika Žilková) are a childless couple and for medical reasons are doomed to remain so. While on vacation with their neighbors at a house in the country, Karel decides to buy the house at the suggestion of his neighbor. When he is fixing up the house, he digs up a tree stump that looks vaguely like a baby. He spends the rest of the evening cleaning it up and then presents it to his wife. She names the stump Otík and starts to treat it like a real baby. She then works out a plan to fake her pregnancy and becoming more and more impatient she speeds up the process and 'gives birth' one month early.
Conspirators of Pleasure, 1h15
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin Republique tcheque
Genres Drama, Comedy, Animation
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films
Actors Jiří Lábus
Rating73% 3.6954653.6954653.6954653.6954653.695465
In Prague, Mr. Pivonka, an unmarried man, buys some pornography from his local newsagent, Mr. Kula, and returns home. A postwoman, Mrs. Malková gives him a letter which reads "On Sunday" in cut-out letters. In secret, she then rolls pieces of bread into little balls and carries them in her satchel. Pivonka asks his neighbour, Mrs. Loubalová, to slaughter a chicken for him. Using the leftover feathers and papier-mâché made from the pornography, he constructs a chicken head and fabricates wings made from umbrellas. Meanwhile, police captain Beltinsky buys rolling pins and pan lids from the same shop that sells Pivonka's umbrellas. Using these items, plus stolen pieces of fur and sharp things, Beltinsky constructs unusual objects in his workshop. His wife, a newsreader named Beltinska, feels neglected and buys some live carp. She is unaware that Kula is in love with her image and has constructed a machine rigged to stroke and masturbate him when she is on television. Pivonka and Loubalová construct life-size effigies of each other.
Faust
Faust (1994)
, 1h37
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin Republique tcheque
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Fantastic, Fantasy, Animation
Themes Films based on plays
Actors Petr Čepek, Jan Kraus, Andrew Sachs, Jiří Suchý
Rating73% 3.696823.696823.696823.696823.69682
The story commences on the streets of Prague on a grey morning with commuters bustling about. We are introduced to the figure of an Everyman, played by Petr Čepek, a colourless figure emerging from a metro station. On his way home, the man encounters two men handing out flyers. It is a map of the city with a location marked in. He shrugs and discards it, returning to his lodging. As he opens the door, a black cockerel runs out. The man sits down to eat, cutting himself a slice of bread. He discovers an egg concealed inside the loaf. He cracks it open but it is empty. Suddenly the lights go out and the wind rises. Objects are thrown about the room. The commotion ceases; the man goes to the window and looks down to where the two men from earlier are staring up at him. One of them holds the cockerel. The man closes the blind and returns to the table, where he finds the map and, using his own map of the city, traces out the location marked.
Food
Food (1992)
, 17minutes
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin Tchecoslovaquie
Genres Comedy, Animation
Actors Jan Kraus
Rating80% 4.035444.035444.035444.035444.03544
Le film se divise en trois épisodes de durées équivalentes. Ils sont précédés de très courts plans sur divers repas accompagnés d'un fond sonore propre à une cuisine (chocs d'assiettes et de couverts, conversations) puis d'un panneau indiquant le repas à venir. Les différents repas pourraient symboliser différentes classes sociales : la classe ouvrière au petit-déjeuner, la classe moyenne au déjeuner, les élites au dîner.
The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia, 10minutes
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin United-kingdom
Genres Animation
Rating75% 3.789033.789033.789033.789033.78903
Stalin's bust is opened on an operating table, and this leads into an animated sequence which depicts Czech history from 1948, when it was taken over by Communists, to 1989, when the Velvet Revolution took place. Background knowledge of the historical context is required for one to fully understand and appreciate the entirely visual film.
Meat Love
Meat Love (1989)

Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Genres Comedy, Fantasy, Animation
Rating70% 3.5443253.5443253.5443253.5443253.544325
A knife chops two slices off a chunk of fresh meat. The first slice, using a nearby spoon as a hand mirror, admires itself. Similar admiration is expressed by the second slice, which slaps the first slice on its 'rear', causing it to cry out and retreat coyly behind a tea-towel. The second slice switches on the radio, and persuades its companion to dance 'cheek to cheek' to the sound of an old 1920s recording. One slice jumps into a plate of flour and teasingly 'splashes' the other. Soon, the two slices are writhing ecstatically in the flour. Their passion is short-lived, however, as almost immediately afterwards they are skewered and fried.
Alice
Alice (1988)
, 1h24
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin Tchecoslovaquie
Genres Science fiction, Fantastic, Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure, Horror, Animation
Themes Films about animals, Inspiré de l'univers des contes et légendes, Films about magic and magicians, Monde imaginaire, Films about cats, Mise en scène d'un lapin ou d'un lièvre, Films based on Alice in Wonderland, Children's films, Mise en scène d'un mammifère
Actors Anne Consigny, Camilla Power, Martin Provost
Rating74% 3.749633.749633.749633.749633.74963
Alice appears to be in her own bedroom, when a taxidermically stuffed rabbit comes to life and breaks out of its glass case. Alice follows the rabbit through the drawer of a desk into a cavern. She subsequently falls through a bucket and seemingly down an elevator shaft. Wonderland itself is a mix of drab household-like areas with incongruous relationships of space and size. The Queen's execution sentences are carried out by the White Rabbit with a pair of scissors. At the film's end, Alice wakes in her room, discovers that the rabbit is still missing from his glass case, and finds a secret compartment where he keeps scissors. She ponders whether or not she will cut his head off. The film is ambiguous about whether this room is Alice's real world or "Wonderland".
Virile Games, 18minutes
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Genres Comedy, Animation
Themes Sports films, Association football films
Rating75% 3.778233.778233.778233.778233.77823
Le film se base sur le visionnage d'un match de foot par un homme dans une pièce abondamment décorée de posters et différents objets liés à l'univers du football. Le film consiste en une succession d'images archives montrant les réactions de supporters durant un match et d'images animées surréalistes. L'acteur qui joue le spectateur derrière son poste de télévision joue aussi l'arbitre, les joueurs, les médecins et les croque-morts dans les passages surréalistes. Le film suit une certaine mécanique propre au cinéma de Švankmajer : une série de photos de joueurs colorés montées de manière énergique avec en fond des commentaires de présentateurs brouillés, puis une chorégraphie jouée par les joueurs avec le ballon, puis la destruction d'un ou plusieurs joueurs. Švankmajer s'amuse à détruire des portraits de glaise à l'image du spectateur de toutes les manières imaginables (visage arraché par une ventouse, démolition à coups de marteau, tête passée au hachoir, etc.). Le score du match progresse à mesure que les joueurs sont détruits. Les joueurs ainsi anéantis sont mis sur des brancards puis dans des cercueils aux couleurs de leur équipe, qui intègreront également les séquences surréalistes. On voit les réactions du public passionné en archive et le spectateur souvent montré en train de manger ou boire.
Dimensions of Dialogue, 12minutes
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Origin Tchecoslovaquie
Genres Comedy, Fantasy, Animation
Rating80% 4.0404954.0404954.0404954.0404954.040495
The animation is divided into three sections. "Eternal conversation" (Dialog věcný) shows Arcimboldo-like heads gradually reducing each other to bland copies; "Passionate discourse" (Dialog vášnivý) shows a clay man and woman who dissolve into one another sexually, then quarrel and reduce themselves to a frenzied, boiling pulp; and "Exhaustive discussion" (Dialogu vyčerpávajícím) consists of two elderly clay heads who extrude various objects on their tongues (toothbrush and toothpaste; shoe and shoelaces, etc.) and intertwine them in various combinations.
Castle of Otranto, 15minutes
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Genres Animation
Rating67% 3.3899953.3899953.3899953.3899953.389995
Jaroslav Vozáb decides to find a place where the story of novel The Castle of Otranto occurred as he believes it is based on a true story. He finds similarities between ruins of Czech Castle Otrhany and the castle from novel and it leads him to believe that Otrhany is the castle he is looking for. A TV reporter Miroslav Fýba makes a reportage with Vozáb who tells him about his research and the story of book.
Jabberwocky, 14minutes
Directed by Jan Švankmajer
Genres Fantasy, Animation
Rating71% 3.590593.590593.590593.590593.59059
In the film, the poem by Lewis Carroll is read and a wardrobe is shown moving through a forest. The wardrobe contains a strange playroom inside that is watched over by an old man in a portrait. The film switches between images of dolls, toys in a nursery, and paper planes to images of dismembered dolls, maggot-infested vines, and a black cat knocking things over. The ending of the film contains an ink blob escaping from an occurring maze, freeing itself from life's constraints. It then defaces the image of the old man (the authority figure) and flees out of the window.