Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Fun: A Surreal Czech Mr. Punch

Jan Švankmajer, 1966
I really should call this “Friday Freakiness” in this particular instance. This is weird. It’s not weird in a crying-in-the-corner kind of way. It’s weird in a “Hey, it’s 1966 and look how surreal we can be,” kind of way. Odd, yes, it is, but nevertheless fascinating.

This short film from 1966 entitled Punch and Judy (though Judy is nowhere to be seen) is the work of famed Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer who credits much of his artistic sensibility to the puppets he played with as a child. It really is an interesting film in a very 1966 kind of way. It just seems to me to be an awful lot of trouble over a Guinnea Pig.


Anonymous said...

Remarkable! This surely shows how badly the Iron Curtain was rusting in 1966! Who knew that Bram Stoker, Monty Python and PETA ever collaborated?

Mary said...

Quite freaky!

Joseph said...

That's funny, Anonymous.

Joseph said...

It is freaky, isn't it, Mary? The other puppet fellow, by the way, is Scaramouche--Mr. Punch's neighbor and the owner of "Toby" the dog. in early Punch and Judy shows, Toby was played by a real dog as seen in the image from the V&A archive. In this Czech film, the role of Toby seems to be played by the Guinnea Pig. Regardless, Scaramouche isn't the world's greatest neighbor--always interrupting Mr. Punch when all he wants to do is feed his Guinnea Pig. Thanks for stopping by, Mary.