Jan Svankmajer:
A Bibliography of Materials in the UC Berkeley Library

Bruyn, Dirk de.
"Re-Animating the Lost Objects d'Childhood and the Everyday: Jan Svankmajer." Senses of Cinema vol. 14, pp. (no pagination), June 2001.

Dark alchemy : the films of Jan Svankmajer.
Edited by Peter Hames. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1995.
MAIN: PN1998.3.S93 D37 1995

Hames, P.
"Bringing up baby." [interview with J. Svankmajer]. Sight & Sound v. ns11 no. 10 (October 2001) p. 26-8
UC users only
An interview with Czech surrealist filmmaker Jan Svankmajer. Among the subjects he discusses is his attraction to the subject material of his latest film, the film's handling of the folktale idea of a child being threatened by an ogre or wild beast, and the function of two-dimensional animation in the film.

"Jan Svankmajer." In: Masters of animation / John Grant. New York, NY : Watson-Guptill, 2001.
Main Stack TR897.5.G73 2001

"Jan Svankmajer & Eva Svankmajerova." In: Talking movies : contemporary world filmmakers in interview / Jason Wood. London ; New York : Wallflower, 2006.
Moffitt PN1995.9.P7.W66 2006

Lane, Anthony
"Kafka's Heir." The New Yorker, pp. 48-63, Fall 1994

Newman, Kim
"Twilight Zone." Sight & Sound v. ns17 no. 7 (July 2007) p. 84
"A lifelong surrealist, Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer creates work that tends to resist political interpretations, instead inhabiting a twilight world of childhood nightmares, gothic tales, found objects, animated jetsam, old bones, and cannibal orgies. BFI's Jan Svankmajer--The Complete Short Films divides Svankmajer's films into "Early Shorts" (1964-72) and "Late Shorts" (1979-92). The seven-year gap in output occurred because of state objections to the director's work on Leonardo's Diary, crucially, not to the content but the method. One of the three discs in the set contains a wealth of extras, including Emil Radok's 1958 puppet film Johanes Doktor Faust, on which Svankmajer worked and which shows some of the directions he would later take; extracts from Oldrich Lipsky's Nick Carter in Prague (1977), for which Svankmajer created a giant man-eating plant; and an extract from a Czech TV series featuring a 2001 interview with Svankmajer." [Art Index]

Nottingham, Michael
"Downing the Folk-Festive: Menacing Meals in the Films of Jan Svankmajer." EnterText: An Interactive Interdisciplinary E-Journal for Cultural and Historical Studies and Creative Work, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 126-50, Winter 2004

Schmitt B, Svankmajer J
"Flashes into the subconscious: Conversation with animated film director Jan Svankmajer." Positif (508): 86-90 JUN 2003

Sorfa, David
"Architorture: Jan Svankmajer and Surrealist Film." In: Screening the city
Edited by Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice. London ; New York : Verso, 2003.
Environ Dsgn PN1995.9.C513.S37 2003
MAIN Stack PN1995.9.C513.S37 2003

Sorfa, David
"The Object of Film in Jan Svankmajer" KinoKultura, vol. 4, no. [Supplement], pp. [no pagination], November 2006

Uhde, Jan
"Beyond the Genre Formula: Implicit Horror in the Films of Jan Svankmajer." In: Horror international Edited by Steven Jay Schneider and Tony Williams. Detroit : Wayne State University Press, c2005. Contemporary approaches to film and television series.
Main Stack PN1995.9.H6.H73 2005
Table of contents http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0421/2004017352.html

Uhde, Jan
"Jan Svankmajer: The Prodigious Animator from Prague." Kinema Spring, 1994

Vickers, Graham
"Strictly personal." Creative Review v. 15 (October 1995) p. 31
"The work of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer is discussed. Svankmajer was originally a theater director; his experiences with the mixed-media work of the Lanterna Magika theater in Prague gave rise to his early filmmaking experiences. His long-time involvement with sculpture and college is reflected in his animation: An exceptionally rich physical texture is introduced into scenarios that always try to blur the boundaries between live action and animation, theater and life, illusion and reality." [Art Index]

Wells, Paul
"Animated Anxiety: Jan Svankmajer, Surrealism and the 'Agit-Scare'." Kinoeye, vol. 2, no. 16, pp. [no pagination], Fall 2002

Wells, Paul, Pilling, Jayne (ed. and introd.).
"Body Consciousness in the Films of Jan Svankmajer." In: A Reader in Animation Studies. pp. 177-94. London : J. Libbey, c1997.
MAIN: TR897.5 .R43 1997)


"Alice in Czechoslovakia." Sight & Sound v. 56 (Spring 1987) p. 124-5

Bruyn, Dirk de.
"Chasing Rabbits out of the Hat and into the SHEDding of Childhood." Senses of Cinema, vol. 14, pp. (no pagination), June 2001.

Charpentier, Franck
"Alice." Cahiers du Cinema no. 424 (October 1989) p. 56

Cherry, Brigid
"Dark Wonders and the Gothic Sensibility: Jan Svankmajer's Neco z Alenky (Alice, 1987)" Kinoeye, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. [no pagination], Winter 2002

Furniss, Maureen
"Adapting Alice: two contexts" (Disney and J. Svankmajer's adaptations of Alice in Wonderland) Art & Design v. 12 (March/April 1997) p. 10-13
"Part of a special issue on animation. The writer compares Walt Disney's 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland with Jan Svankmajer's 1988 live-action and animation film Alice. In terms of design and content, the Disney version closely follows Lewis Carroll's story--the character designs were influenced by the drawings of Sir John Tenniel, who illustrated the original novel. Although Disney excels in literally translating the work, Svankmajer captures its spirit much more successfully--he shows the experience of a young girl in an environment both familiar and alien, which is what the novel describes. Disney's sound and visuals create a realm that is ultimately happy and self-affirming; Svankmajer's world is highly absurd, ugly, physically and mentally challenging, and scary. Disney created a film within the boundaries of the Hollywood studio system, where the familiar is continually presented to attract an established market; Svankmajer is an experimental Eastern European artist guided by the possibilities of cinema as a subversive medium capable of redefining our conception of reality." [Art Index]

James, Caryn.
"Alice." (movie reviews) New York Times v137 (Wed, Aug 3, 1988):17(N), C18(L), col 1, 14 col in.

Rafferty, Terrence.
"Alice." (movie reviews) New Yorker v64, n25 (Aug 8, 1988):77 (2 pages).

Conspirators of Pleasure

Felperin, Leslie
"Conspirators of pleasure." Sight & Sound v. ns7 (February 1997) p. 39
"Aside from deeper issues, this film can be read as a black sex comedy and is a pleasure to watch. The cast bring a necessary warmth to the proceedings, an unglamorous humanity. The film's pace is managed just right with a slow start that builds gradually toward an orgy of surrealist moments." [Art Index]


"Between Slapstick and Horror." (creativity in Jan Svankmajer's film 'Faust') Sight and Sound v4, n9 (Sept, 1994):20 (4 pages).

Fitzsimmons, Lorna
"Of 'Broken Wall, the Burning Roof and Tower': Gyno-Turning in Limit Up and Svankmajer's Faust." In: The seeing century : film, vision and identity / edited by Wendy Everett. Amsterdam ; Atlanta : Rodopi, 2000
Main Stack PN1995.25.S44 2000

Shera, Peta Allen.
"The Labyrinthine Madness of Svankmajer's Faust." Journal of Gender Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 127-44, Summer 2001.

James, Caryn.
"Faust." (movie reviews) New York Times v144 (Wed, Oct 26, 1994):C15(L), col 1, 9 col in.

O'Pray, M.
"Between slapstick and horror." [Jan Svankmajer's Faust; with comments by the director]. Sight & Sound v. ns4 (September 1994) p. 20-3
"The writer examines the work of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer, focusing on Faust. He points out that Svankmajer's work shows the influence of two major art trends--Surrealism, which has survived in Czechoslovakia since the early 1930s, and the overwrought and technically exuberant Mannerism that found one of its greatest expressions in the bizarre paintings of Arcimboldi. He notes that the film's action moves between puppets, animated models, and "real" actors to create a brilliant mix out of the traditional marionette theater of Eastern Europe and life in post-communist Prague. He contrasts Svankmajer's version to the versions of Goethe and Marlowe, concluding that Svankmajer offers a series of Fausts who imply that within the contemporary world, all of us are capable of being manipulated by the demons of chance and petty ambition." [Art Index]

Shera, Peta Allen. "The Labyrinthine Madness of Svankmajer's Faust." Journal of Gender Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 127-44, Summer 2001.

Strick, Philip.
"Lesson of Faust." (movie reviews) Sight and Sound v4, n10 (Oct, 1994):40 (2 pages).
"In Faust, Jan Svankmajer borrows from sources that include Marlowe, Goethe, Gounod, and the more obscure Grabbe to shape a narrative that is entirely his own. A cascade of improvisation springs from each borrowing, as when a volley of tiny demons dismember the equally miniscule angels who are trying to prevent Faust from signing away his soul. In fact, so much of it is Svankmajer that the story of Faust only really gets started halfway through the film." [Art Index]

Little Otik

Bregant M
"Little Otik." Film Comment 37 (6): 74-74 Nov-Dec 2001

Felperin, Leslie
"Little Otik." Sight & Sound v. ns11 no. 11 (November 2001) p. 49-50
UC users only
"Svankmajer's black comedy is his most conventional film by a long way. However, because it eschews most of the visual flourishes that have made his work so distinctive, it risks appearing like any other low budget Czech horror movie. It is saved from banality by its underlying satirical zest." [Art Index]

Hames, Peter
"Bringing Up Baby: Jan Svankmajer Interviewed about Otesánek (Little Otík, 2000)." Kinoeye, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. [no pagination], Winter 2002
UC users only


Brooke, Michael
"Taking over the asylum." Sight & Sound v. ns17 no. 7 (July 2007) p. 44-5, 63
"A review of Jan Svankmajer's 2005 film Lunacy. Svankmajer's fifth feature is confrontational from the opening moments, when the director appears before a white backdrop to deliver both a personal credo and an introduction in which he calls his film as an "infantile" tribute to Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis de Sade. Indeed, Svankmajer takes his raw material from Poe's stories "The Premature Burial" and "The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether," the latter of which provides the asylum setting and the ideological debate about how best to deal with insanity. The gruesome solutions proffered by the character of Dr. Coulmiere (played by Martin Huba), however, clearly draw on de Sade. As usual, Svankmajer is keenly aware of his material's tactile nature, and his images are certain to provoke a powerfully visceral reaction in the viewer." [Art Index]

Romney, J.
"Madness and Civilization: Jan Svankmajer's Patient Pandemonium." Modern Painters (June 2006) p. 44-6
UC users only
"A review of Lunacy (Sileni), the latest film by the Czech surrealist filmmaker and artist Jan Svankmajer. With a central theme of the dialectic between liberty and control, this feature film combines animation and live action in a narrative that is apparently set in France in a hybrid period merging the 19th century and the present. Svankmajer himself opens Lunacy by describing it as a horror film and "an infantile tribute" to Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis de Sade. Throughout the film, the screen is invaded by stop-motion-animated stampedes of meat, tongues, eyeballs, and bones. With its murky, rough-grained photography and constrained framing, and its often truly repulsive imagery, Lunacy mixes the claustrophobic logic of nightmare with the fevered, bargain-basement playfulness of the Hammer cycle." [Art Index]

The Ossuary

Uhde, Jan
"The Bare Bones of Horror: Jan Svankmajer's Kostnice (The Ossuary, 1970)." Kinoeye, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. [no pagination], Winter 2002

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