Friday, December 2, 2011

Director's Intro

Přežít svůj život (teorie a praxe)/ Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)
(Jan Švankmajer, 2010)

Ladies and gentlemen, we couldn't raise enough cash. This was supposed to be a regular feature film, but since we didn't have the money, we had to use a much simpler technique - paper-cut-out animation, like in the old kids TV programs. So we were able to shoot the whole thing in the studio and keep the transport costs to a minimum. We also saved money on actor's fees, as we mainly used just photographs of them, and on catering - because photographs don't eat. So this is not a formal experiment, just a poor imperfect substitute for a live-action film. A kind of fusion movie. I've called it a psychoanalytical comedy. Psychoanalytical because one of the characters is a psychoanalyst. As for the comedy, I'm pretty sure you won't find much to laugh at. Neither did we when we were shooting. One morning I was woken up by a dream and I said to myself it looked like the opening scene of a film. So I wrote the other scenes. I've always wanted to make a film in which dream blends with reality, and vice versa. As Georg Christoph Lichtenberg tells us: only the fusion of dream and reality can make up the complete human life. Sadly, our civilization has no time for dreams, there's no money. The reason I've included this introduction is not to gratify my narcissism. It is because when we finished cutting the film, we discovered that it was too short. That's what animated films do. They shorten time. They are quite simply faster than live-action movies. Two and a half minutes. Not a lot.

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