View Full Version : Lunacy - Jan Svankmajer

Alison Jane
12-25-2010, 11:47 AM
Finally got an original of this thanks to an Amazon gift card from Horace for my birthday! Saw it first about five years ago and I absolutely loved it... looking forward to revisiting it especially since Ian's never seen it before. It's kind of a similar storyline to Don't Go In the Basement (which I also loved) but a little deeper and done differently and much more stylishly (and of course with a much bigger budget. This film is a lot different from Svankmajer's others, but still very obviously his.

The latest provocation from surrealist master Jan Svankmajer (ALICE,
on two short stories by Edgar Allen Poe and inspired by the works of the
Marquis de Sade. In nineteenth-century France (albeit one full of
deliberate anachronisms) a young man, Jean Berlot, is plagued by
nightmares in which he is dragged off to a madhouse. On the journey
back from his mother’s funeral he is invited by a Marquis he meets at
lunch to spend the night in his castle. There Berlot witnesses a
blasphemous orgy and a ‘therapeutic’ funeral. Berlot tries to flee but the
Marquis insists on helping him conquer his fears and takes his guest to
a nearby lunatic asylum where the patients have complete freedom and
the staff are locked up behind bars. Described by Svankmajer as a
“philosophical horror film,” LUNACY combines live action and stopmotion,
sex and violence, grand guignol terror and gallows humor,
and a lot of animated meat.

I'd recommend it to all of you!

http://posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/movies2010/2VcrU7SPUFpZ16lMouD3qfbKJZGaiaf1BBNUPC5AOEjqEA8MEo AOpfraOiPJ/Lunacyposter.jpg

Alison Jane
12-27-2010, 10:46 AM
A lot more blasphemous than I remember it, but just as great as I remember it. There was a lot more to it than just the asylum scenes (which was most of what I'd remembered from it) and I'm definitely glad I finally have an original. Thanks, Horace!

PS... Ian is scared of this movie. :o

Ian Jane
12-27-2010, 10:48 AM
There was obviously a lot that went over my head and I should probably watch it again as I only picked up on what I'd guess was about 1/4 of the symbolism and allegory he'd worked into the movie. There was a lot going on that I don't think I fully understood - and yeah, that stop motion meat footage was freaking me out. It made me really uncomfortable, so it has that going for it. The art direction is pretty amazing and the performances were good and I definitely appreciated the dark humor behind much of it.

A very odd film.

12-29-2010, 04:15 PM
I'll have to check this out - Svankmejer's pretty hit and miss for me but more on the former than the latter.

Alison Jane
12-29-2010, 04:18 PM
I like most of his stuff except for some of his shorts. Alice is my favorite, of course, followed by Lunacy.

Ian Jane
12-29-2010, 06:44 PM
I actually tend to prefer the shorts to the features sometimes. I find the features tend to be about 20 minutes too long. Alice and Faust are both amazing though. And Little Otik, if a bit too long, is pretty rad.

paul h.
12-30-2010, 12:06 AM
Thanks for the news of this one, I put it in my Q.