James Frost – Jan Švankmajer: Film as Puppet Theatre

This paper considers the films of the Czech Surrealist Jan Švankmajer (b.1934) from the perspective of puppetry[1]. The majority of his films involve stop-motion animation[2], usually combined with live action. He often uses puppets, as both live action effects (e.g. actually pulling strings) and animated using stop motion techniques. This paper will explore his relationship […]

Miriam Harris – How Michaela Pavlatova both incorporates and rebels against the Czech animation tradition

Introduction The Internet’s potential for global shrinkage, electronic travel, and animated transmission is a technological development that would have left citizens of previous centuries stupefied by such wondrous demonstrations of magic. Typing in the address for the Czech animator Michaela Pavlatova’s website transports one as if by sorcery to Prague, and a realm of moving […]

Cathryn Vasseleu – The Svankmajer Touch

I am a hand with six fingers with webs in between. Instead of fingernails I have petite, sharp, sweet-toothed little tongues with which I lick the world. Jan Švankmajer, Self-portrait, 1999 (2002, 6) Jan Švankmajer’s animated films are renowned for their tactile dimensions. Heads devour one another in devastating conversations, objects collide painfully with mismatched […]

Laura Ivins-Hulley – The Ontology of Performance in Stop Animation

Kawamoto’s House of Flame and Švankmajer’s The Fall of the House of Usher Judy clubs Punch with a mallet. Jack the Pumpkin King decides to take Santa’s place one Christmas. Gumby foils the Blockheads’ plans, yet again. In each of these cases, we as the audience focus our attention on the moving figures, finding pleasure […]