A bust of Stalin is cut open on an operating table, leading to an elaborate animated depiction of Czech history from 1948 (the Communist takeover) to 1989 (the Velvet Revolution). Some knowledge of the subject is essential in order to understand the film, which is entirely visual. –IMDb
Jan Švankmajer (born 4 September 1934 in Prague) is a Czech surrealist artist. His work spans several media. He is known for his surreal animations and features, which have greatly influenced other artists such as Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, The Brothers Quay and many others. Švankmajer has gained a reputation over several decades for his distinctive use of stop-motion technique, and his ability to make surreal, nightmarish and yet somehow funny pictures. He is still making films in Prague. Švankmajer’s trademarks include very exaggerated sounds, often creating a very strange effect in all eating scenes. He often uses very sped-up sequences when people walk and interact. His movies often involve inanimate objects coming alive and being brought to life through stop-motion. Food is a favorite subject and medium. Stop-motion features in most of his work, though his feature films also include live action to varying degrees.
A lot of his movies, like the short film Down to the Cellar… read more
Tough piece of agitpop, an attack on russian/czech politics from the stalin era through gorbachev. Gruesome, political, fascinating. One begeting another begetting another. Great animation from Svankmajer much more confrontational than most of his work. Death wears many faces.