Kinoeye: New perspectives on European film

Vol 2
 Issue 1 
7 Jan
2002

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Jan Svankmajer's Neco z Alenky (Alice, 1987)STRACH: CZECH HORROR
Švankmajer
on the web

Links to online resources

 

Contents

Here is a selective list of available web materials on the Czech director Jan Švankmajer. All links were functioning and descriptions accurate as of the date of publication (7 January 2002).

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Articles in Kinoeye
  • Bringing up baby
    Jan Švankmajer interviewed about
    Otesánek (Little Otík, 2000)
  • Švankmajer's latest feature film is, perhaps, his most conventional work to date. But as the director tells Peter Hames, Otesánek is another angle on a theme that has obsessed him for a long time.
  • An alchemist's nightmares
    Extracts from Jan Švankmajer's diary
  • In the pre-production phase of Otesánek (Little Otík), Švankmajer confides in these diary extracts about his occasional doubts in himself and the film, LSD-induced flashbacks he used to experience and dreams that haunt him at night.
  • Dark wonders and the Gothic sensibility
    Jan Švankmajer's Něco z Alenky (Alice, 1987)
  • Švankmajer's films may not be straight horror, but they draw on Gothic literary sources and have a definite appeal to horror film fans, as Brigid Cherry explains.
  • The bare bones of horror
    Jan Švankmajer's Kostnice (The Ossuary, 1970)
  • Švankmajer's early career in short film-making holds some under-appreciated masterpieces. Jan Uhde looks at a "horror documentary" shot in the wake of the Soviet-led invasion.
  • Animated anxiety
    Jan Švankmajer, Surrealism and the "agit-scare"
  • Švankmajer's work is often discussed in relation to the horror genre and the gothic imagination. Paul Wells looks at the director in terms of the "shock of the real."

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Websites
  • Jan Švankmajer: Alchemist of the Surreal
  • The authorised Švankmajer website. This is a very comprehensive site indeed, that includes a detailed filmography, illustrations of Švankmajer artwork and writings by and on the director. Unfortunately, it looks as if it was last updated in April 1998, and there is no mention of his most recent film, Otesánek (Little Otík).
  • Jan Švankmajer
  • A sub-site of the Animation of Heaven and Hell site, these pages have not been updated since 1996, but it does have some short quick-time film extracts. The site as a whole also has sections devoted to other animators, including some brief information on the Švankmajer-influenced Quay Brothers.
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • A comprehensive Alice in Wonderland site that lists many films and tv shows. It contains an exceedingly detailed synopsis of Švankmajer's Něco z Alenky (Alice) with a rather personal commentary on the film, all illustrated by hundreds of (low-quality) screen stills.
  • Galerie GAMBRA
  • A Prague gallery owned by Jan and Eva Švankmajer dealing in surrealist art, art brut and other artforms that fit in with the Švankmajer philosophy. The site tantalisingly doesn't let you in on the art currently on show, but does let you buy numerous books and videos connected with the Švankmajers and Czech surrealism in general.
  • Skupina českých a slovenských surrealistů
  • The home page of the Czech and Slovak Surrealist Group. Not particularly user-friendly site and not all in English.
  • Zeitgeist Films
  • An not especially inspiring website from Švankmajer's American distributors, but it does at least allow you to watch the trailer for Otesánek (Little Otík)

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Reviews and articles
  • Dark wonders and the Gothic sensibility
    Jan Švankmajer's Něco z Alenky (Alice, 1987)
    Kinoeye, vol 2, issue 1, 7 January 2002
  • Švankmajer's films may not be straight horror, but they draw on Gothic literary sources and have a definite appeal to horror film fans, as Brigid Cherry explains.
  • The bare bones of horror
    Jan Švankmajer's Kostnice (The Ossuary, 1970)
    Kinoeye, vol 2, issue 1, 7 January 2002
  • Švankmajer's early career in short film-making holds some under-appreciated masterpieces. Jan Uhde looks at a "horror documentary" shot in the wake of the Soviet-led invasion.
  • Jan Švankmajer: The Prodigious Animator from Prague
  • Scholarly article about Švankmajer written by Jan Uhde for the spring 1994 edition of Kinema. It gives a good introduction to his aesthetics and philosophy, despite not being able to include the three feature films the director has made since.
  • The Arcimboldo of Animation
  • Another Jan Uhde article from Kinema; this time a book review of the collection of essays Dark Alchemy: The Films of Jan Švankmajer, edited by Peter Hames.
  • Jan Švankmajer Gets Stumped
    Fangoria Magazine Fearful Features, 2001
  • A short article with some Švankmajer quotes about his creative processes and working on Otesánek (Little Otík).
  • The Wager of a Militant Surrealist
    On Jan Švankmajer's The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia
    by Wakagi Akatsuka
  • An article on Konec stalinismu v Čechách (The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia, 1990), Švankmajer's most political film, with an overview of his country's history after the Second World War.

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Interviews and writings by the director
  • Bringing up baby
    Jan Švankmajer interviewed about
    Otesánek (Little Otík, 2000)
    Kinoeye, vol 2, issue 1, 7 January 2002
  • Švankmajer's latest feature film is, perhaps, his most conventional work to date. But as the director tells Peter Hames, Otesánek is another angle on a theme that has obsessed him for a long time.
  • An alchemist's nightmares
    Extracts from Jan Švankmajer's diary
    Kinoeye, vol 2, issue 1, 7 January 2002
  • In the pre-production phase of Otesánek (Little Otík), Švankmajer confides in these diary extracts about his occasional doubts in himself and the film, LSD-induced flashbacks he used to experience and dreams that haunt him at night.
  • Out of my head
    The Guardian, Friday 19 October 2001
  • A more extended account by Švankmajer of the military experiments involving LSD, performed on him in the early 1970s.
  • A Quick Chat with Jan Švankmajer and Eva Švankmajerová
    by Jason Wood, Kamera
  • A short interview with director and his wife, gives an idea of how they collaborate together. Includes information about Otesánek (Little Otík). This is the only site which also talks to Eva.
  • The Surrealist Conspirator
    by Wendy Jackson
    Animation World Magazine, issue 23, June 1997
  • An interesting interview, including Švankmajer talking about his plans for Otesánek (Little Otík).
  • After revolution, the shit!
  • A short interview published on 26 October 2001 to coincide with the British release of Otesánek (Little Otík).

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Other bibliographies
  • Zeitgeist Films
  • A bibliography put togegther by Kinoeye horror editor Steven Jay Schneider for Švankmajer's American distributor.

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Sarah Andrews

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