Although it leads to nowhere in particular this is a charmingly esoteric doffing of the hat to an earlier master of the medium. The relative brevity of the piece helps ensure the inventiveness remains the right side of empty. It’s hard to believe now, but animation like this was once routinely broadcast on peak-time mass audience television in Great Britain.
2.5 stars. Considering the influence at play, Švankmajer and the Quays are an awkward fit. I think it's because they're at opposite ends of the curatorial spectrum. Švankmajer's objects writhe with animistic charge that the alchemist brings bubbling to the surface; the Quays, meanwhile, revive dead mechanical oddities within animating chambers. Švankmajer is pre-linguistic; the Quays, post. Still fascinates, mind.
Once again the aesthetics of this movie is amazing. The Quay brothers created a wonderful world and paid a nice homage to svankmajer. However I didn't really feel able to 'get it' and somehow it bothered me more then with some of there other work. Not sure why. Maybe I need to see it a couple of times.