N+2: Et cetera - Jan Svankmajer (1966)

24 febrero 2012

Et cetera - Jan Svankmajer (1966)

Sin diálogos/No dialogue

Este cortometraje se divide en tres partes. Una figura animada vive una extraña experiencia relacionada con varios pares de alas; un hombre fustiga a un perro transformándose él mismo en animal mientras que el animal se convierte en humano; otro hombre tiene toda clase de problemas al dibujar una casa…

La obra cinematográfica de Jan Švankmajer se resume en poco más de quince horas de proyección, producto de una labor lenta, artesana, de casi cincuenta años. La IMDB, incluyendo su actual proyecto en filmaciónSurviving Life. Theory and practice, incluye 33 obras de las que seis son largometrajes. En muchas de ellas, como diseñadora, directora artística o de vestuario y actriz ha participado su mujer Eva Svankmajerova, pintora surrealista, fallecida en 2005. Desde 1980, con La caída de la casa Usher, Bedrich Glaser ha sido el responsable de la animación, el hombre del últimos trucos. En una entrevistas de 2001, Jan Švankmajer declaraba que nunca había usado efectos de ordenador, que tal vez con ellos sus animaciones habrían sido más perfectas, pero que en su imperfección actual, en el movimiento inseguro de sus objetos animados veía él la grandeza de su sistema. “Para mí, los objetos siempre estuvieron más vivos que las personas, porque perdurarán más y son más expresivos”. Y es que nunca se ha considerado un animador, sino que la animación ha sido el mejor vehículo para trasladar al mundo físico su delirante mundo interior.
Por Miguel Lorenzo (extraído de El Impostor)

Jan Svankmajer's Et Cetera is divided into three equal parts that are structurally based around the concept of repetition. Each segment quickly falls into a pattern in which animated figures go through a rote series of movements that only lead into an endless circularity. In the first section, "Wings," a segmented cut-out figure executes a series of jumps between two chairs, starting by himself with a small jump and then using progressively larger sets of wings to make ever longer jumps. Eventually, he cycles through three sets of wings and arrives back at the beginning of the series, with nothing to do but start over. At this point, the section ends, and brisk, abrupt editing shows a condensed version of the same events, repeated ad infinitum, before returning to the repetition of the title. The second section is another exercise in cycles, entitled "Whip." Here, two painted figures, one vaguely humanoid and the other reptilian, engage in a dance of domination and obedience, the superior lifeform whipping the inferior one in order to elicit a series of baroque tricks. The reptile creature stands on its head, does flips, and stands up, but with each iteration the second figure becomes more humanoid while the first figure becomes more reptilian. By the end of the series, the two have switched places, and the series then starts from the beginning, this time with the second figure whipping the first, while the morphing takes place in the opposite direction. After these two cycles, the figures are back in their beginning states, and the whole thing starts again, at which point Svankmajer cuts it off. The third sequence is the simplest, in which a humanoid cut-out figure, similar to the one in the first segment, alternates between drawing two houses with a pencil. The first house he draws from the outside, then becomes frustrated and erases it when he realizes that he cannot get in. The second house he draws from the inside, tracing its walls around him, but immediately feels claustrophobic and hemmed-in, banging on the insides of the house before erasing it as well. This two-part sequence repeats several times, faster and faster with each iteration, with the figure frustrated and dissatisfied with either state he finds himself in.

The allegory in these three vignettes is obvious but elegant in its simplicity. The film is Svankmajer's direct commentary on the futility of most human action and invention. The film's structure of circularity rejects the idea that the sequences depicted are finite, linear narratives, instead stressing the cyclical nature of history and human progress, the way different eras and different societies keep repeating the same dramas and the same essential stories, only varying on the surface. The progress towards better and better technology — the wings that allow the man in the first story to fly further and further — will eventually reach an impasse, at which point all that can be asked is the inevitable question, "what next?" For Svankmajer, human progress has its limits, just as the human condition will always be one of perpetual dissatisfaction with whatever is available, and just as the alternation between oppressor and oppressed will continue throughout all history. There is little hope: as soon as the oppressed creature becomes human and gets ahold of the whip, it immediately begins whipping its former master, starting the whole cycle all over again. The film is bleak and pointed in its demonstration of just how limited and constrained life is.

DVDRip por HawkmenBlues




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