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CONSPIRATORS OF PLEASURE

Director: JAN ŠVANKMAJER

CZECH REPUBLIC-U.K. • 1996 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY STEREO • 75 MIN


ŠVANKMAJER’S MAINLY LIVE-ACTION AND MOST CONSISTENTLY COMIC FEATURE EXPLORES THE WONDROUSLY BIZARRE EROTIC FANTASIES AND FETISHISTIC PRACTICES OF A GROUP OF EVERYDAY FOLK IN MODERN PRAGUE.
Fish, straw, kitchen implements, televisions, dough, fur and other slightly more traditional instruments of passion are brought into imaginative play by the director’s gallery of conspirators. A marvellously funny account of the more absurd sadomasochistic aspects of human desire, the film’s rehearsal of surrealist themes is acknowledged by Švankmajer’s ironic list of ‘technical consultants’—Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dali, Sigmund Freud and the Marquis de Sade among others. The director’s sarcastic humour combines with images that are frequently disturbing, with his rag-doll puppets appearing as grotesque and pathetic victims. While Conspirators of Pleasure is his most explicit tribute to familiar surrealist themes, it also offers a sharp criticism of the new consumer society.

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