Jan Švankmajer: Conspirator of Pleasure

His films always leave me with mixed feelings, but they all have moments that really get to me; moments that evoke the nightmarish spectre of seeing commonplace things coming unexpectedly to life. – Terry Gilliam

Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer began making a body of politically provocative stop-motion shorts in the mid-60s.  His early work had a profound influence on Terry Gilliam, The Brothers Quay, and countless other animators.  Banned from filmmaking in the early 70s by the communist Czechoslovakian government of the time, Švankmajer turned to feature filmmaking with the late 80s release of Alice, which married stop-motion techniques with live action performances, a concoction that he’s experimented with in varying proportions ever since.

From Saturday, January 19 to Sunday, February 3, The Northwest Film Center is proud to present a touring retrospective of Švankmajer’s work, organized by Irena Kovarova and made possible through the additional support of the Czech Center New York. Films include Alice (1988), Faust (1994), Conspirators of Pleasure (1996), a program of shorts (1968-1992), Little Otik (2001), Lunacy (2005), and Surviving Life (2010). Visit the NWFC site for schedule and ticketing.