Jan Švankmajer: The Complete Short Films

All 26 of Jan Švankmajer’s short films, as remarkable for their philosophical consistency as for their frequently mind-boggling imagery.

“The world is divided into two unequal camps: those who have never heard of Jan Švankmajer… and those who happen upon his work and know that they have come face to face with a genius.” Anthony Lane, The New Yorker.

Featuring all 26 entries in the official filmography, this is the world’s first complete DVD edition of the short films by the legendary Czech Surrealist filmmaker-animator Jan Švankmajer. Technically and conceptually astonishing in their own right, these films are also as remarkable for their philosophical consistency as for their frequently mind-boggling imagery.

This package also includes a bonus short, Johanes Doktor Faust (1958), the longer cut of ‘The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer’ with a new introduction by the Quay Brothers, the documentary Les Chimeres des Švankmajer (2001), interviews with Jan and Eva Švankmajer and examples of their work in other media. There’s also a chance to see some Švankmajer special effects, created when he was banned from directing his own films. A 54-page illustrated booklet includes full credits and detailed notes on each film by leading Švankmajer experts.

Disc one: early shorts 1964-1972

  • The Last Trick (1964)
  • J S Bach – Fantasy in G Minor (1965)
  • A Game with Stones (1965)
  • Punch and Judy (1966)
  • Et Cetera (1966)
  • Historia Naturae, Suita (1967)
  • The Garden (1968)
  • The Flat (1968)
  • Picnic with Weissmann (1968)
  • A Quiet Week in the House (1969)
  • Don Juan (1969)
  • The Ossuary (1970)
  • Jabberwocky (1971)
  • Leonardo’s Diary (1972)

Disc two: late shorts 1979-1992

  • The Castle of Otranto (1979)
  • The Fall of the House of Usher (1980)
  • Dimensions of Dialogue (1982)
  • Down to the Cellar (1983)
  • The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope (1983)
  • Virile Games (1988)
  • Another Kind of Love (1988)
  • Meat Love (1988)
  • Darkness – Light – Darkness (1989)
  • Flora (1989)
  • The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (1990)
  • Food (1992)

Special features

  • Johanes Doktor Faust (Emil Radok, 1958).
  • Nick Carter in Prague (Oldrich Lipsk, 1977 excerpts).
  • The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer (Keith Griffiths, 1984).
  • Les Chimeres des Švankmajer (Bertrand Schmitt/Michel Leclerc, 2001).
  • Czech TV interview (2001).
  • Lunacy trailer (2005).

Product information

    • Certificate


    • Colour

      Colour and Black/white

    • Sound


    • Languages

      Czech, French, English

    • Subtitles


    • Original aspect ratio

      4:3 and 2.35:1 (Cinemascope)

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number


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