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ONE NIGHT IN A CITY

Czech Republic, 2007 (MIFF 2008, Animation Gallery)

Director: Jan Balej

ONE NIGHT IN A CITY

In the dark streets of Prague, surreal scenarios and enchanted vignettes entwine to create a disturbing tryptic of urban peculiarities.

We visit an apartment building of people with magnificent misshapen heads and dreadful ideas about animals. They perform bedroom bear hunts, practice live pet cremation, direct dead insect circuses and worship donkeys. Then the city lifestyle of an anthropomorphic tree becomes an allegory for the seasons (watch to see what the tree uses for shoes). Lastly, a tone-deaf accordionist takes a stranger's ear, a café customer sups with spirits and the creepiest city salutes the night. Its visceral style, dense horror and black humour is reminiscent of Delicatessen, Svankmajer and the Brothers Quay, but Jan Baledj's puppets and stop motion animation evoke an entirely original nocturnal phantasmagoria of loneliness, aberration and oddity.

D Jan Balej P Martin Vandas S Ivan Arsenjev, Jan Balej WS MAUR Film L no dialogue TD 35mm/2007/75mins

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