Erasing the boundary between fairy-tale fantasy and waking life, Czech artist Jan Svankmajer is defiantly old-school--a militant surrealist. Painstaking in execution, his films are overdoses of the imagination, appearing equally at home in the cinema, the museum, and the alchemist's workshop. In setting, these eroticized parables are unmistakably of another world, taking place in drab apartment complexes that fairly reek of the repression of socialist realism. Svankmajer was born in 1934, the same year as the formation of the Czech Surrealist Group, whose artistic mission became more pointed under Stalinism. Within this political context, the creation of subversive art is necessarily fraught with anxiety; Svankmajer's gift is for putting that anxiety on the screen one nightmarish... More >>>