I was just checking the imdb boards for this movie but there isn’t much there. Shame, sometimes there are some really perceptive comments. I think this film is my fave Svank feature, yet it’s hard to know what to think it … this is what I wrote there:
What a fantastic movie! I just watched it again straight at the cinema in Brighton, where there is currently a Svankmajer retrospective.
[no subs, but you don’t really need them. you only need to know ‘v nedeli’ = ‘on sunday’]
It’s amazing, there isn’t any spoken dialogue of note and a whole world is created. Like all his movies I’ve seen, Svankmajer judges the length adroitly and says what he wants to say in such an individualistic style. Compared to some of his other films there isn’t much animation but he really makes it count when it is employed – for example the energetic contest played out between the ‘main character’ in the cock hat and his neighbour.
I think this was the third time I’ve seen it, the first time not smashed so I’m able now to formulate some theories (my friend sat next to me seeing it for the first time said at the end “what the feck i have just seen??”)
So judging by some of the meaningful glances between the conspirators, for example in the newsagent at the beginning (and the end), and in the bedroom of the murdered woman at the end, it seems they do recognise something in each other. But what exactly?
And who is in control? One might think the postlady, since she delivers the ‘sunday showdown’ note and the breadballs. But then she is also hooked on the breadballs herself. I’m also fine with there being no-one pulling the strings, everyone just stuck in their various pursuits of pleasure.
Yet even on that approach, questions remain. At the end, the various perversions seem to be rotating – the postlady is up for buying some fish, the ‘main guy’ is thinking about building electronics, the newsagent is working on a kinky rolling pin etc etc So are there only the perversions we have seen? Or are there more? Is this group representative or is everyone at it?
So what’s it all about then? Clearly it’s about obsession. The newsagent sells news but is completely unmoved by the news stories of floods and what looks like police repression of demonstrations. He cares only for the newscaster. And I guess we’ve all been in situations when the madness of love takes over – I know I have. It’s incredible that emotions or the brain releasing specific chemicals or an energetic connection or however you want to call it, can result the inability to function normally. It’s complete and utter madness!
I’m interested what other people think, not because there is any correct interpretation, it’s just fun to bounce these ideas around. Plus I hope those fish enjoyed their participation.
PS Any film which credits the following reprobates for their “Professional Expertise” has got to be a winner:
Count Leopold Sacher-Masoch
Marquis Donotien Aldonse François de Sade