Jan Svankmajer Write up

Jan Svankmajer was a Czech filmmaker who used his experience to create animations of his own using stop motion.  Jan used both clay and also dolls and other objects laying around him to complete his animations.  Along with which, he would turn his objects into humans or figures that closely resembles humanly figures.

Jan used stop motion to do things that neither live action nor traditional animation could do in his time.  He tended to like to have his figures fuse together (Passionate Dialogue) to show a form of unity or movement, for example, in Passionate Dialogue, he showed movement in the two figures, who were kissing, to give a sense of passion and give the figure a sense of unity.

Another example of Jan using fusing is in his piece, Darkness Light Darkness.  Using the clay, he slowly added limbs of a body together, tore them apart, and then finally in the end completing the figure as a whole.  He would have each part of his process included, such as adding clay to a section to allow another clay section to be added.  He made it so it looked like the piece itself is creating itself, and he did it with extreme accuracy.

A different technique Jan used that was different from traditional animation and live action is instead of fusing, he would tear a character open or apart.  The best example of this is from his piece Medios 2 Campos, where his character literally tears themselves open and apart to eat their own body.  Similar to his fusing techniques, the character itself would tear their body apart to show a new body part it would be eating.  Slowly over time all that’s left is the eyes and mouth, which then eats an eye to finish the film.  Traditional animation and live action would have an extremely difficult time to show these actions due to being 2D for the animation and there wasn’t the technology or effects available in his time to display tearing a body apart in the way he did.

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