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Xcèntric. 13th season 2013-2014

Games and enigmas


“I myself see games as being key to my creative process. But not just any game. It has to be a game of chance, a game in which you stake all. Only in this way does the game become a subversive activity.” Jan Švankmajer

Georges Méliès, the pioneer of fantastic cinema, used celluloid as an ally in his magic tricks. Still-frame animation serves to juxtapose the impossible and, in Švankmajer’s hands, it becomes the perfect ally in the game of surrealism. This session brings together some of the funniest (Meat love), most beautiful (A game with stones) and subversive (Virile games, Punch and Judy) films alongside the Quays’ strangest work, Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies, where, in their role as Prometheus, they give life to a one-eyed, one-haired homunculus. The enigmatic work of Polish experimental animator Jerzy Kucia also interests the Brothers Quay. We present his Splinters, very close to their non-narrative universe.

  • Conte de la grand-mère et rêve de l’enfant (Grandmother’s story), Georges Méliès, 1908, video, 5 min
  • Fleur de fougère (Fern flowers), L. Starewitch, 1949, 35 mm, 25 min
  • Spiel mit Steinen (A game with stones), J. Švankmajer, 1965, video, 8 min
  • Mužné hry (Virile games), J. Švankmajer, 1988, 35 mm, 12 min
  • Odpryski (Splinters), Jerzy Kucia, 1984, 35 mm, 11 min
  • Stille Nacht II: Are We Still Married?, Brothers Quay, 1992, 35 mm, 3 min
  • Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies, Brothers Quay, 1987, 35 mm, 14 min
  • Zamilované maso (Meat love), J. Švankmajer, 1989, 35 mm, 1 min
  • Rakvičkárna (Punch and Judy), J. Švankmajer, 1966, 35 mm, 10 min

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