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Jan Svankmajer

Jan Svankmajer

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 4, 1934 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: animator, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Jan Svankmajer is a major figure of contemporary East European animation whose surrealistic, often macabre work owes more to the nightmarish visions of Kafka and Bunuel than to the sunny daydreams of Walt Disney and his creative progeny. Noted for investing otherwise ordinary objects with ominous overtones, Svankmajer reached his widest audience to date with a feature-length adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice" (1988) which blended animated and live-action footage--a technique he had earlier used to hair-raising effect in "Down to the Cellar" (1983). He is a major influence on the somewhat better known animation artists, The Brothers Quay, as evinced by their 1984 tribute, "The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer".

Jan Svankmajer is a major figure of contemporary East European animation whose surrealistic, often macabre work owes more to the nightmarish visions of Kafka and Bunuel than to the sunny daydreams of Walt Disney and his creative progeny. Noted for investing otherwise ordinary objects with ominous overtones, Svankmajer reached his widest audience to date with a feature-length adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice" (1988) which blended animated and live-action footage--a technique he had earlier used to hair-raising effect in "Down to the Cellar" (1983). He is a major influence on the somewhat better known animation artists, The Brothers Quay, as evinced by their 1984 tribute, "The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer".

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Lunacy (2006)
2.
  Little Otik (2000) Director
3.
4.
  Faust (1994) Director
5.
  Food (1993) Director
6.
8.
  Animated Self-Portraits (1990) Director (Czechoslovakia)
9.
  Muzne hry (1989) Director
10.
  Jabberwocky (1989) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1958:
Worked as a theatre director; associated with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre; entered Lanterna Magika Theatre in Prague, where he first encountered filmmaking
:
Devoted primarily to producing drawings, collages and subjects
1961:
Exhibited art work alongside his wife's paintings in Semafor Theater in Prague
1963:
Work exhibited at the Viola Theatre
1964:
Made first film, the 12-minute short, "Posledn Trik Pana Schwarcewalldea a Pana Edgara/The Last Trick"
:
Produced series of acclaimed collages
1974:
Began a series of experiments on the relations between touch and vision; produced "touch objects"
1977:
Exhibited at the Sonnenring Gallery in Munster, West Germany
1982:
Helmed the short "Dimensions of Dialogue"
1988:
Made first feature film, "Alice" (served as art director, director, screenwriter, editor, producer)
1994:
Directed the animated fantasy "Faust"
1996:
Helmed the feature "Conspirators of Pleasure"
2006:
Helmed "Lunacy," a surreal comic horror based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis de Sade
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Institute of Artistic Industry: - 1950 - 1954
Dramatic Art Faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts: - 1954 - 1958

Notes

He is a member of the Surrealist Group in Prague since 1969.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Eva Svankmajerova. Painter. Born 1940; art style is in a surrealist vein; first met Svankmajer in 1960.

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