Saturday, 26 March 2011

Review on Jiri Barta

Review on Jiri Barta

Jiri Barta

Jiri Barta, a Czechoslovakian who animates using stop motion and was also fond of using puppets. Barta's work is similar to Svankmajer in that it also experiences dark and grotesque themes. The sounds used in Barta's animations are plentiful and pay a great deal of attention to things, such as the dripping of blood and faint scratching of rats. Although some of the characters used are made of wood, they still possess a great deal of life like attributes when being animated along with the world they live in, as noted by Jenny Jediny on 'We recognize these objects, yet they inhabit a world of their own which often draws on the political issues of the former communist block. Surreal creations, ranging from mannequins to abandoned gloves, are intricately involved in symbolic demonstrations of the Velvet Revolution, or playfully comment on the rapid intrusion of materialism on Eastern Europe.' (Jediny, 2007) One of Barta's films called Krysař that is based of the German myth of the Pied Piper uses wooden puppets and is quite dark in its style, along with its use of German Expressionism seen in its layout, such as the sharp, pointed and distorted buildings. Its Expressionism is discussed on 'Throughout the movie we see distorted silhouettes, exaggerated shapes, and disproportionate landscapes and architecture. Things purposely skewed and off kilter. The imagery itself is very symbolic of the darker side of the human experience. The buildings and landscapes do a great job achieving the mood of the scene. The dark atmosphere and colors represent the inner psychological workings of the community’s → a downfall of morals, savage greedy people wallowing in their splendor, indulging in their epicurean lifestyles, bathing in lavish wealth.' (Mubi, 2010)  Not only are wooden puppets used, but real rats and food is seen throughout the film, as mentioned by Ivana Kosulicova on 'Different animation techniques are combined: wooden puppets and moving relief, animation of real food, footage of live rats, and oil painting—everything contributes to an ambitious piece of work.' (Kosulicova, 2002) 

 Krysar (Pied Piper)

List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Barta, Jiri (1985) Jiri Barta. [Photograph] At: (Accessed on: 26.03.11)
Figure 2. Barta, Jiri (1986) Krysar (Pied Piper) [Screen cap] At: (Accessed on: 26.03.11)
Jediny, Jenny (2007) The Animation of Jiri Barta. (Accessed on: 26.03.11)

Kosulicova, Ivana (2002) The Morality of Horror. (Accessed on: 26.03.11)

Mubi (2010) Simultaneous Watching And Analysis: Krysař by Jiří Barta. (Accessed on: 26.03.11)

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