World Festival of Animated Film /
feature film edition 4 - 9 June 2013
World Festival of Animated Film / feature film edition 4 - 9 June 2013
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Authors   |   Jan Švankmajer


Jan Švankmajer was born on September 4, 1934 in Prague. His studies at the College of Applied Arts in Prague in the Stage Design Department and at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts in the Department of Puppetry (directing and stage design) largely predetermined his own creative development. He did not study film and its technology - perhaps this also contributed to Švankmajer’s not being weighed down by the ‘cinematic art’ with its excessive dedication to the technical medium and resulting depressive receptiveness. In the Magic Lantern Theatre he experimented with some film procedures, including special effects, for the first time. He made his first film in 1964 at the Krátký film Studio in Prague. The creative diversity of Jan Švankmajer, however, exceeds the limits of film. The artist is active in autonomous visual expression which he has practiced since the end of the 1950s. His literary expression consists mainly of scenarios and tactile poems, while his theoretical activity has focused on research of tactile phenomena and imagination. A considerable part of the imaginative strength of Jan Švankmajer consists of blasphemous black humour and a playful viewpoint which, together with extraordinary sensibility and a penetrating critical intellect, form the determining facets of his creative personality. His work, whether film, visual, or literary, is connected with the collective activities of the Czechoslovak Surrealist group.