Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two Distorted Faces

I became interested in Czech surrealist filmmaker Jan Švankmajer's works recently. Tma/Svetlo/Tma is a genius short animation which displays how a human body is reconstructed by himself in a small and enclosed room.

The following still presents one of the most emotional moments in the film, a moment of both self-construction and self-destruction. It also recalls Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream. The former distorted face is self-contained which let us reflect on our own forces affecting the shape of our body, ultimately the shape of our mind; the latter distorted face, together with the landscape, represents an inner fear or anxiety totally played inside out and remains mysterious. The figures in both images are tortured, either in a highly confined space or a vast open space.

Dimensions of Dialogue, my most favorite one, also exemplifies Jan Švankmajer's obssession with human body and his distinctive use of clay.

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