Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kyvadlo, jáma a naděje (1984) aka The Pit, the Pendulum and Hope

4 / 5 Apr '11
Tagline: N/A
Directed by: Jan Svankmajer
Written by: Jan Svankmajer, Edgar Allan Poe
Actors include: Jan Zácek
Genre: Horror, Animation
Length: 15 minutes
Banned: Nope

At first I thought...oh no, I'm going to get sea sick from the lack of focus and the pendulum movement. Then I started to feel that doom of the swing, and as the details become clear as to the situation and set it's pretty darned neat. It's all filmed in grainy black and white, and you really don't see much if anything in the way of faces. Creepy moving parts and the animation or stop-motion stuff certainly leave one feeling uneasy. At the same time the age old Pit and the Pendulum story is very clear despite the total lack of dialog. We watch a Man struggle for survival as the pendulum swings closer and closer as he tries desperately to escape...how is that not exciting? It's definitely obvious stylistically that it's a work of Jan Švankmajer with the creative touches. Sure it's just a short film, but it packs a whole lotta punch.

Availability:  On DVD as part of the Collected Shorts Of Jan Svankmajer set

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