This cut-out animated, absurd short seems to be about the futility of humanity's insane craving to have absolute control over it's environment.
Of course, told by Svankmajer, things get turned around.
In the first part, "Wings", a man tries successfully to fly with bigger and bigger wings, each time going further. This is the one thing that we really can't do.
In the second part, "Whip", the man tries to tame a demonish animal, whipping it so it will perform tricks. Eventually, the man is at the other end of the whip, but he regains control. Of course, this "taming" is easier than it looks. We get the idea that the animal is really in control, since it isn't trying to escape, it seems rather bored by the whole thing, it forces the man to do some tricks, but then gives back control, etc...
Click here for a 1 meg quicktime from part 3
In the third part, "House", the man is trying to build some shelter from the enviroment, but keeps getting it wrong. He first finishes the house only to realize that he forgot a door, tries unsuccessfully to break in, and starts over from scratch. He then builds it from the inside, but forgot a door, so he can't get out. He starts over. He never does get it right. This third part has a unique look, because rather than animating cut-out images on a simple background, the "hole", or silhouette of the man which was cut out, is animated over various paintings.
Check out the Svankmeyer pages that I have completed; these include stills and many quicktime movies:
This page was created 7/14/96.
All content compiled/edited by Tim Fitzpatrick, except where noted.