Little Otik (Otesanek)
- THE FLAT (BYT), a 1969 short film by Jan Svankmajer
- "Bringing Up Baby": An interview with Svankmajer from Sight and Sound
- Excerpts from Svankmajer's production diary
- Behind-the-scenes photo archive
- Original theatrical trailer
Top Customer Reviews
The dramatic centre of the film is not any of the characters so far mentioned so much as it is Alzbetka, the little girl next door, beautifully played by Kristina Adamcova.Read more ›
To his horror, Bozena's husband arrives one evening to find her nursing the child, which has actually come to life. And it is very, insatiably hungry. A neighbor's daughter, inquisitive Alzbekta, knows something is up from the couple's strange behavior, and from the way visitors begin to mysteriously disappear. Amongst the books on human development and sexuality she peruses, she finds in a book of Fairy Tales the fable of Otesanek, a hungry tree monster, and ends up being the only character in the developing, horrific scenario who has a clue what is going on, as well as what is to ensue.
This movie has been compared to The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby and Eraserhead; I would have to throw in nods to It's Alive, Little Shop of Horrors ('61) and maybe Delicatessen. Despite the overly broad humor, somewhat primitive, jerky animation style and a rather unsatisfying ending, Little Otik delivers some good sick fun in this sidewise view of parenting and consumerism. One may never look at food quite the same way again.
I don't want to give away too much of this movie. It's in Czech so you have to read the subtitles (unless you know Czech!). It's very good. Even the little girl's family is somewhat funny. My only complain is it could have been made shorter with good editing. I felt it got bogged down with prolonged scenes.
What I didn't quite expect was a coherent narrative dressed here and there with stop-action and traditional, albeit somewhat choppy, flat animation. In an on-line interview with Svankmajer the director describes Otesánek as "a topical version of the Faust myth: a rebellion against nature and the tragic dimension of that rebellion." Okay. Maybe. Whatever. LITTLE OTIK introduces us to a typical middle-class couple who, unfortunately, are both infertile. One day the husband unearths a tree root, notes its resemblance to a human figure, and soon the wife is ungoing a false pregnancy and making sure that Little Otik is swaddled, powdered, and varnished periodically.
I suppose an American movie would try to give us a why, but this movie is content to accept without question that after nine months Little Otik is suddenly very much alive - and voraciously hungry. Besides the parents, who are cleverly able to hide the `newborn' in plain sight, precocious 10-year-old Alzbeta (Kristina Adamcová) is the only other person who seems to realize what's going on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like strange, whimsical, horrific, surreal and comedic films-this is definitely for you! Based on Czech folklore this film brings to life a modern adaptation to the... Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by Conqueror Worm
This is the most unique movie you'll ever see! Quirky, intriquing, it will have you wondering at each twist and turn "How will they ever resolve THIS situation? Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by Happy in Paris
Before you read everything from the eggheads who like to treat every Czech movie as if it were a profound work of art, realize that "Little Otík" is mainly a funny story,... Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by lingvistika
This movie is a true gem. What's amazing about it is its ability to attract and engage viewers with different cinematic preferences: from cinemaphils (those like "thinking" movies)... Read morePublished on August 4, 2012 by Elena Fomina
this is a really strange film but if you are a fan of svankmajers films as i am you will accept it for what it is. Read morePublished on May 14, 2011 by Embury
This movie is a Russian fairy tale come to life. It's a fun movie, very entertaining! It's very odd. But after I saw it I knew I had to find it for my movie collection. Read morePublished on January 30, 2010 by R. Vermeulen
If this work is an allegoric story, one could figure out it illustrates a slogan "Kids are flowers on parents' graves" as a wood-made boy growing up into a monster eating everybody... Read morePublished on May 3, 2009 by Michael Kerjman
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