Athanor – The Alchemical Furnace

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This event ended on Monday 30th of November 2020

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A playful, poetic and candid insight into Jan Švankmajer's artistic workshop in which a grand master of puppetry and animation conjures his sharp and merciless exploration of human nature Dir. Adam Olha, Jan Daňhel, Czech Republic / Slovakia 2020, 117´ Cast: Jan Švankmajer, Jaromír Kallista The world is divided into two unequal camps. Those who have never heard of Jan Svankmajer and know that they have come face to face with genius. Antony Lane, New Yorker The legendary artist, filmmaker and surrealist, Jan Švankmajer, whose work has inspired artists such as Terry Gilliam and the Quay Brothers, bid farewell to feature filmmaking in 2018 with his swan song, Insects. While shooting the making of Insects, directors Adam Olha, Jan Daňhel and producer Jaromír Kallista decided to preserve Švankmajer’s unique creative process revealing the behind-the-scenes details of his artistic practice. Over three years they followed his life and work at home and abroad (including the UK premiere of Insects at the Tate Modern) creating a complex portrait, a collage, in which serious discussions about his artistic principles are interlaced with footage of him at work and at home including everyday and comic moments such as crashing his four-wheeler, posing awkwardly with fans or getting irritated by organisers at an art exhibition. Talking with disarming honesty, Jan Švankmajer, an extremely private man, opens up and speaks of his dreams, meditations, and his wife and muse Eva Švankmajerová, revealing the difficult times after her death. Premiered at the 2020 Rotterdam International Film Festival.


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