Czech surrealist Jan Svankmajer’s (Otesánek, Alice) latest provocation combines the sinister atmosphere and psychological horror of Edgar Allan Poe with the decadence of the Marquis de Sade.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
The latest provocation from Jan Svankmajer (Otesánek, Alice) combines the sinister atmosphere and psychological horror of Edgar Allan Poe with the decadence of the Marquis de Sade. Once again Svankmajer mixes live action with wickedly inventive bursts of animated offal – to ask the age old question: who’s mad and who’s not? In a 19th century riddled with anachronistic references to 21st-century insanities, young Jean Berlot is tormented by nightly visions of being bundled up and dragged off to an asylum. On the journey home from his mother’s funeral he meets a certain Marquis and is invited to spend the night at his château, where he witnesses a sacrilegious orgy and is forced to assist in the Marquis’ therapeutic burial…
“Best known for his zany stop-motion animations… Czech surrealist Jan Svankmajer’s fifth and most accessible feature to date is – as he introduces it – an ideological horror film but not a work of art. The latter is a self-effacing lie, though Lunacy is exactly what it’s called, raucously inventive and completely out of its mind.” — Aaron Hillis, Premiere