Jan Švankmajer's Adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe

  • Tim White
  • J. Emmett Winn


TOMORROW COULD BRING SALVATION: JAN ŠVANKMAJER'S ADAPTATIONS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE Animation, as a branch of cinema, has never been accorded the respect given to other kinds of filmmaking, and as a result has never been as carefully researched as have these other cinematic modes. In an understudied art, Jan Švankmajer, the Czech filmmaker (specializing in stop-motion animation and pixilation), is even less well-known or discussed.(1) The nature of his films, which are always disturbing and frequently downright repulsive, often leads critics to discuss them in terms of only these surface elements, using them as examples of Švankmajer's strangeness. Even more often, however, critics and filmgoers choose not to discuss his films at all, as if the images and the ideas they evoke are too disgusting - or painful - to think about. Švankmajer's animation is unlike most worldwide animation and is particularly dissimilar to mainstream American animation.