The Czech titles means both lunacy and lunatics, and both are well represented in the latest film by the surrealist, artist, philosopher and writer Jan Svankmajer. Life is lunacy and we (or they?) are lunatics. According to the director himself, this work, which as in all his films combines live action and animation, is a 'philosophical horror film' with themes such as absolute freedom, manipulation and repression by civilisation. He worries and shocks, he entertains and makes us think - whether we want to or not. The script of Lunacy is loosely based on two short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, and a leading character is Marquiz (inspired by the Marquis de Sade). The work is an allegory for the crazy world we live in. Although the film is set in nineteenth-century France, several anachronisms and realities will not pass unnoticed. The young Jean Berlot (played by Pavel Liska, also to be seen in Bohdan Sláma's Something Like Happiness) is plagued by nightmares in which he is taken to a madhouse. On the journey back from his mother's funeral, he is invited by a Marquis to spend the night in his castle. There Berlot witnesses a blasphemous orgy and a 'therapeutic' funeral. The Marquis helps him conquer his fears and takes his guest to an asylum where the patients have complete freedom and the staff are locked up behind bars. (LC)

Original title
Sílení
Filmmaker
Jan Švankmajer
Premiere
International première
Country
Czech Republic, Slovakia
Year
2005
Medium
35mm
Length
118’
Language
Czech
Producer
Athanor - Film Production Company, Llc, C-GA Film, Jaromír Kallista
Sales
Cinepol International
Writer
Jan Svankmajer
Cinematography
Juraj Galvámel
Editor
Marie Zemanová
Production Design
Eva Svankmajerová, Jan Svankmajer
Sound Design
Ivo Špalj
Cast
Jan Tríska, Pavel Liska