Little Otik is just your run-of-the-mill story of a couple who can’t conceive and decide to nurse a tree stump. The tree stump then comes to life, with um hilarious consequences. It eats quite a lot of people. It’s more hardcore than Lars and the Real Girl, let’s put it that way.
Maybe I’m getting a bit jaded, but compared to some of the other things I’ve seen, for Švankmajer this seems like quite a straight movie.But what am I saying? It’s still funny and freaky in dollops. For Marina Warner, it’s her favourite film by the Svank. I dunno if I’d go quite that far, but it is really good.
I found a piece in the Guardian which suggests the Svank has taken LSD. Whatta surprise. In his own words:
How does this relate to my most recent film, Little Otik? I don’t know. Maybe in the way the unhappy heroes of the story succumb to their desire to have a child as they might have succumbed to a drug. That desire then gives birth to the demon which destroys them. What at first looks like gratification and deliverance from their desire turns out to be a pernicious delusion.
Sorry I know this isn’t a particularly comprehensive review, I think I might be getting a bit pooped by the relentless schedule of the retrospective (in a good way). Hm what to add. I really liked the actress who played the little girl, Alzbetka and actually everyone was good. And the dad is the furry roller perv from Conspirators of Pleasure.