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Jan Svankmajer HMYZ's premiere at the Rotterdam festival

The latest film by an acclaimed artist, screenwriter and director Jan Švnakmajer Insects will be featured at the forthcoming edition of the prestigious International Film Festival in Rotterdam, which will take place from 24 January to 4 February 2018.

The Czech director is a regular guest at the Rotterdam festival, in total there have been eleven of his films in the past years. Rotterdam also premiered his previous film Surviving Your Life , which he also presented in CineMart's co-production market earlier in 2006. The long-awaited film Insects comes eight years after the previous movie. The film will be presented in Rotterdam in the Deep Focus: Signatures section, which features new works by established artists.

"The Insect film has a fairly complex structure. On the one hand, there is a story of theater amateurs, built on the ground plan of the Oedipus complex. There is also a second act of the Čapek brothers' game of Insect Life, and finally documentary shots from the filming of the film. There are also dreams in it. I chose this form because, as a surrealist, I consider the creative process to be more substantial than the final result. So I opened this process and let the viewer see it as much as possible without disturbing the drama of the story, " Jan Švankmajer says about his film.

Jan Svankmajer

Born September 4, 1934 in Prague. His creative development was largely predetermined by high school students in the stage department of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design and subsequent studies of puppet stage design and directing at DAMU (1954-1958). In 1964 he made his first film in Short Film Prague. The creative versatility of Jan Švankmajer is beyond the limits of the film - he is active in the field of independent artistic expression he has been working on since the late 1950s. The verbal expression includes mainly literary scenarios and tactile poems; his theoretical activity is focused on exploring the phenomenon of touch and imagination. Shankkmajer's basic features include blasphemous black humor, playfulness, extraordinary sensitivity and imaginativeness coupled with penetrating critical intellect. His work, whether film, art or theoretical, is closely related to the collective activity of the Surrealist group in Czechoslovakia.
His films have received a number of foreign and domestic awards and are regularly featured at prestigious international festivals such as Berlinale, Venice, Rotterdam and others. From the Berlin Film Festival, in 1993, Švankmajer won the Golden Bear for the short film The Possibilities of Dialogue, twice attending the Cannes Film Festival, where he introduced Faust lesson in Un Certain Regard in 1994 and won the third prize for the short film JSBach in 1965 - Fantasia G-Moll. Faust Lesson won the Special Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 1994, where the director was awarded the Crystal Globe for Lifetime Work in 2009.


Švankmajer's latest feature film Insects (Czech Republic, 2018, 90 min) will be premiered on February 19, 2018 by CinemArt. The film stars Jiří Lábus, Norbert Lichý, Kamila Magálová, Ivana Uhlířová, Jaromír Dulava and Jan Budař.

Synopsis of the film
The pub in a small town. It is closed, the chairs are overturned on the tables. The hanging hangs "insect dresses" : crepe paper shorts, winged butterfly butterfly, brightly painted and black shiny beetles. At the table in the corner of the room are six local amateurs: the director, Ruzena, Mr. Václav, Mr. Borovička, Ajznboňák Kopřiva and Miss Jitka. The traveler is at home with a sciatica. Chrobáčice and Kukla have not yet arrived. During the rehearsal, the lives of amateurs and the fate of Čapek's characters will pass through. Director - The cricket will kill Mr. Wenceslas, a lover of his wife. Mr. Kopriva, playing Parasite, is eating Miss Jitka - Larvicho. Mr. Borovič will succeed in rebuilding the beetle so convincingly that he will leave his human form for good. During the test, it is born and dies, time does not play a role. And all this happens in the background of Čapek's game, where insects behave like people and people like insects.

"The Game of Insect Life is a misanthropic game. My script only deepens this misanthropy, as the similarity of man with insects and this civilization with the anthill is deepening. Also, the message of Kafka the Transfiguration should not be forgotten. " Jan Švankmajer / official text of the distributor /

Source: tz, edited editorially

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