REVIEWED
5/25/07

STORY



LOOK



Lunacy (aka Sílení)
Director: Jan Svankmajer
Year: 2006
TRT: 1:58


I really can't begin to describe how much more surreal and disturbed a filmmaker Jan Svankmajer has become since his release of Little Otik, but fortunately the man himself presents this film to give a word of, not warning, but advice (ie Fuck You Cree-tics, Arthouse and Government alike; I waive the 'horror' banner because all other forms, apparently, are dead, even this rotten one I wave in my hand). In other words, prepare yourself to be disturbed in a whole new manner, both physically and mentally. Hell, when you come right out and inform your audience this is a horror film inspired by Edgar Allen Poe and the Marquis De Sade, you know you're in for a ride a wee bit more harrowing than, say, the shocking episode of "7th Heaven" about where Preacher Paw's chlamydia came from.

To describe the plot offhand would be lunacy in itself. Creepy overlapping of current and "historical" perspective help support Svankmajer's initial claims about the film, specifically toward the treatment of the mentally ill. Who may be deemed crazy by some, sane by others. But it's just not perspective that's the key, but the road to recovery, if granted passage. If that makes sense, I've done a damn fine job of deciphering the drunken scrawls I made while watching this film.

More refined camerawork, relatively minor (though key) integration of stop-motion animation, and yes, a possibly...no, likely crazy midget is involved here. Religious, sexual and social/political denouement are all pretty blatant. All with a Czech version of Keanu Reeves, circa 1992 after the completion of the Czech version of Francis Ford Coppola doing his Czech version of Dracula. Quite frankly, I don't even want to go into the random thoughts and observations I made toward the end of this film. While used as chapter marks, the animated meat does come into play even more than one would think, a self-perpetuating meat cycle, as it were. What it all comes down to is unless you're a fan of Svankmajer, the surreal, or the odd logic behind treatment of the mentally ill, you may want to check out something on the opposite end of the spectrum, like Shrek the Turd, that's about as devoid of anything with social, political or theological implications as it gets. Minus a lot of fucking chickens.

I would not recommend eating directly before, during, or after this film. Except cake. Cake is okay to eat while watching this. Drinking, however, is heavily recommended.

Great Scene: Animated meat, quite telling throughout. Be it tongues or ayeballs, breathing meat-mortar. Not recommended for the herbivore.

DVD Notes: "Is that the right chicken?" How the hell should I know? Nice 14 minute look into the behind-the-scenes of the production, a wide range of production photos, and English subtitles only (no sorry-ass dubs to accompany this little gem). As with Little Otik, done up by Zeitgeist.