ANOTHER REASON TO LOVE THE CZECKS (AND THEIR FILMMAKERS)!!!!
Perhaps unintentional at the time, Jabberwocky (1971) is a dynamic AND snarky AND dreamy precursor to the feature film Alice, (both by Svankmajer, 1988,) an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The poem Jabberwocky (as narrated in the film,) was originally written by Carroll; which he included years later when he wrote Through the Looking Glass. The poem is mostly written in a silly unintelligible language, at first it that made me wonder if I wasn’t British enough to get it. Though in between Carroll’s made-up vocab a basic archetype of a boy who is to slay a beast- the Jabberwock- cryptically emerges. This was Carroll’s satirical stab at pretentious writers and their snooty dumb literary critics. In this vein, Jan Svankmajer’s Jabberwocky is an articulate short stop motion film riddled with symbolism with some sardonic critique on western culture- which as of late can be saturated with whiny unimaginative shallow brats. It’s under the disguise of childlike wonder and playfulness.
The joy in watching Jan Svankmajer’s Jabberwocky is that it is entirely orchestrated by a familiarity and comfort anyone can be nostalgic of, even if it’s just from our collective/cultural memory. I’m tired of pretentious artists who make pretentious art to achieve some high status critically validated by an elite few. I don’t dislike whatever “high” art is, but maybe it’s just my nature to look for the humanity- ugly or romantic- in everything, which all art is capable of. It’s accessible symbolism doesn’t require the confines of class or education to understand it. It is a highly imaginative and creative work that captivates our imagination to include us all, the very fact that it’s on youtube is art democratized. Sure, i’d rather see it projected from 16mm, but until then I’m glad I could experience it’s art at some form.
sladhsdhjhdfh i LOVE Jan Svankanmajer omg why haven’t we met up yet! I met you at the Neon Indian show last month!
pretend art collector, aspiring cinematographer, likely future librarian. I get by on cheap thrills and these are my recommendations.