Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Food (1992) by Jan Svankmajer...

A New York Times review called the film "caustically witty but slight." It goes on to say that "Švankmajer conceived the film in the 1970's, when it seemed too risky a political allegory to be made. . . . it now seems too simple a statement about how people are devoured by mechanistic states and each other." Despite it's political background, Food stands out for me as a real masterclass, not only of Jan Svankmajer's claymation skills, but of animation in general. Not only am i a huge fan of his unique style, which you can tell from the amount animations i watch by him, but his amazing talent for narrative and clever little details. My favourite in this slightly dark and surreal set of claymations has to be Breakfast, which portrays the story of 'a man, who after eating breakfast, is transformed into an elaborate dumb-waiter-style breakfast dispenser - and the same fate befalls the man who obtains breakfast from him.' What i love about this animation is how fun it is, whilst still keeping with the strange and surreal mood that Svankmajer does so well. The other two claymations invole LUNCH, about two would-be diners end up eating everything within reach and DINNER, Portraits of various meals made up of human organs. Overall, Food is a fascinating piece of masterclass claymation that seems to roll all of Svankmajer's great pieces into one.


  1. If your interested into Svankmajer's animations try to get hold of his collection of short films, some really interesting stuff there, not only you have a sense of his development in surrealism but also how different the animations can be.

    Down to the cellar is one of the creepiest short films I have ever seen, the mixture of real life footage and stop-motion animation is splendid.

    Also, his Little Otik ( in czech " Otesanek") is also a good example of an adaptation of a czech Fairy tale, dark, surreal yet very enjoyable.

  2. Cheers Ruben, i'll check them out... there's something really eerie and creepy about these Czech and Eastern European animations, i love them!

  3. Ah beat me too it there Ruben. Definately check out Little Otik.