Jan Svankmajer Research Paper
Jan Svankmajer is a Czech experimental filmmaker and animator. He used a lot of stop motion in his works. Pixilation, object animation, and Claymation were among the many variations he used in his animations. His career began with when he went to study at the Institute of Applied arts at the Department of puppetry from 1950 and 1954, and then he trained at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. (1; Peter Hames, Dark Alchemy) His first film ever that he made was called “The Last Trick” in 1964, and it was a short live-action film. He went on to make many more films including ones like “A Game with Stones” in 1965, which utilized object animation, “Dimensions of Dialogue” in 1982, which used Claymation and object animation, and “Meat Love” in 1988, which also used object animation. In 1988, Jan made his first feature length film called “Alice”, which featured both live-action and object animation, and was based off of “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. This led to him making many other feature films, even until this day. (2; centrevox.ca, Jan Svankmajer)
One of Svankmajer’s major styles he utilized in many of his films was a sense of movement in the things he animated. This can be seen in his numerous films. One example is shown in “Jabberwocky” (1971), when the clothes hanging jump out of the closet and start moving around. He gives them a true sense of motion and liveliness to it as if it truly is moving. Another example of this can be seen in “Meat Love” (1988). In it the two pieces of meat are moved so nicely that it looks very real. It gives them personality almost, but it definitely gives the meat a sense of movement. This is the part of his style I tried to adapt in my work.
In my opinion, my attempt at adapting this style wasn’t particularly successful. In most of Svankmajer’s works, he made all the objects have a real sense of motion. My work also had a sense of motion because you can tell each object is moving, but not as well as he made his objects move around.
- Hames, Peter. Dark Alchemy: The Films of Jan Švankmajer. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1995. Print. 7-30
- “Jan Å vankmajer.” Jan Å vankmajer. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.