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30 Jan – 9 Feb 2025

Jan Švankmajer

Jan ŠVANKMAJER (1934, Czechoslovakia) studied stage design at the College of Applied Arts in Prague, and Puppetry at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. In 1964, he made his first short film: The Last Trick. His animations films filled with fantasy and surrealism, such as Alice (1987) and Faust (1994), are highly regarded and have won many prizes, for instance in Cannes and Berlin. He is mostly known for his use of claymation and stop-motion techniques, and has been named a great influence by many filmmakers, including the Quay Brothers and Terry Gilliam. In 2000 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Animafest Zagreb and in 2014 he received the FIAF Award during a special ceremony at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Švankmajer has announced his retirement from filmmaking, with Kunstkamera (2022), selected for IFFR 2023, announced as his final film.


Poslední trik pana Schwarcewalldea a pana Edgara/The Last Trick (1964, short), Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia G-Moll (1965, short), Hra s kameny/A Game with Stones (1965, short), Rakvickárna/Punch and Judy (1966, short), Et Cetera (1966, short), Historia naturae (Suita) (1967, short), Zahrada/The Garden (1968, short), Picknick mit Weismann (1969, short), Byt/The Flat (1969, short), Tichy tyden v dome/A Quiet Week in the House (1969, short), Kostnice/The Ossuary (1970, short), Don Sajn/Don Juan (1970, short), Zvahlav aneb saticky slameného Huberta/Jabberwocky (1971, short), Leonarduv Deník/Leonardo’s Diary (1972, short), Otrantsky zámek/The Castle of Otranto (1973-79, short), Zánik domu Usheru/The Fall of the House of Usher (1980, short), Moznosti dialogu/Dimensions of Dialogue (1982, short), Do pivnice/Down to the Cellar (1982, short), Kyvadlo, jáma a nadeje/The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope (1983, short), Neco z Alenky/Alice (1987), Muzné hry/Virile Games (1988, short), Jiny druh lásky/Another Kind of Love (1988, short), Zamilované maso/Meat Love (1989, short), Tma, svetlo, tma/Darkness, Light, Darkness (1989, short), Flora (1989, short), Animated Self-Portraits (1989, short), Konec stalinismu v Cechách/The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (1990, short), Jídlo/Food (1992, short), Lekce Faust/Faust (1994), Spiklenci slasti/Conspirators of Pleasure (1996), Otesánek/Little Otik (2000), Šílení/Lunacy (2005), Prezít svuj zivot/Surviving Life (2010), Hmyz/Insect (2018), Kunstkamera (2022)

More info: Wikipedia, Jan Švankmajer

Jan Švankmajer at IFFR

  • Kunstkamera

    The private home museum of Eva and Jan Švankmajer viewable in a film: surrealism unbound.

    • Harbour
  • Lunacy

    The young man ends up in a surrealist lunatic asylum. In this philosophical horror film, in which live action is combined with animation, Svankmajer i

    • Kings & Aces
  • Leonardo’s Diary 72

    Animated drawings in the style of Da Vinci enter in a dialogue with found-footage of contemporary society.

    • Ex Voto: Mapping the Heart
  • J.S. Bach: Fantasy in G Minor

    The stones and bricks of a church come to life as soon as the organist start playing the Fantasia in g flat.

    • Ex Voto: Mapping the Heart
  • Otesánek

    Svankmajer, animation master of the subversive and surrealist, is inspired by the old folk story of ‘Otesánek’. Man carves a tree-trunk into a child f

    • Ex Voto: Mapping the Heart
  • A Quiet Week in a House

    Seven nights of ritualised voyeurism by a solitary terrorist in an abandoned house.

    • Ex Voto: Mapping the Heart
  • Surviving Life

    Surrealist Jan Svankmajer deals with one of the biggest obsessions in his life: dreams. The main protagonist Evzen is having obscure dreams and desper

    • Spectrum
  • Spiklenci Slasti

    Entertaining, surrealist feature by Czech animation master follows the bizarre sexual escapades prepared by the ‘conspirators of pleasure’ on Sunday.

    • main programme
  • Faust

    Virtuoso Czech animation master made a staggering and very personal version of the age-old Faust legend.

    • films from oz