Zeitgeist Films | Lunacy
Jan Svankmajer
Film Info
118 mins
Czech Republic / Slovakia
In Czech with English subtitles
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Sound: Dolby Digital
Rating: Not Rated

The latest provocation from surrealist master Jan Svankmajer (LITTLE OTIK) is loosely based on two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and inspired by the works of the Marquis de Sade. In nineteenth-century France (albeit one full of deliberate anachronisms) a young man, Jean Berlot, is plagued by nightmares in which he is dragged off to a madhouse. On the journey back from his mother’s funeral he is invited by a Marquis he meets at lunch to spend the night in his castle. There Berlot witnesses a blasphemous orgy and a ‘therapeutic’ funeral. Berlot tries to flee but the Marquis insists on helping him conquer his fears and takes his guest to a surrealistic lunatic asylum where the patients have complete freedom and the staff are locked up behind bars. Described by Svankmajer himself in a prologue to the film as a ’philosophical horror film,” LUNACY combines live action and stop-motion, sex and violence, grand guignol terror and gallows humor, and a lot of animated meat.


LUNACY is loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's stories “The Premature Burial” and “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether” which can be purchased from Amazon

The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer on DVD