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Lunacy

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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(Feb 20, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

The latest provocation from surrealist master Jan Svankmajer deliriously combines live action, stop-motion animation, kinky sex, Euro-trash violence and horror, black comedy, and lots of frisky meat puppets. In nineteenth-century rural France, a young man named Jean Berlot becomes caught up in the nigthmarish world of a mysterious, decadent Marqius: orgiastic black masses, "therapeutic" funerals, and an asylum with a smoirgasbord of macabre "treatments" and tarred-and-feathered doctors.

Special Features

  • "The Making of Lunacy"
  • Behind-the-scenes photos and illustrated "treatment" cards
  • Jan Svankmajer print interview
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Jan Tríska, Pavel Liska, Anna Geislerová
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Czech (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KJTG7Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,107 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lunacy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In his introduction to the film inside the own film Jan Svankmajer compares modern societies with a lunatics assylum. The subject of " Lunacy " is essentially an ideological debate about how to rule an institution. " Basically there are two ways of managing an institution, and each equally extreme ": one looks at the absolute freedom; the other, the old-fashioned based on absolute rules and punishment. And there is also - he concludes - another one that combines the worst things of both " and this is the mad-house in we're living today ". As the protagonist of the film, as artists nowadays, modern democracies seem to move between two chairs, to walk behind the fog.

Placed in the ninenteenth century rural France, " Lunacy " is freely inspired by a not very popular tale by E. A. Poe titled " The system of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether ", about a mental hospital ruled by their patients ( this is by lunatics ), and also by the decadentist and anticlerical criticism of the Marquis the Sade. We find too some references to the spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel ( for instance, in the scene in which the aeseptic and sadistic lead doctor of the asylum shows to her lover the content of a bizarre box and that the spectator never get to known ) so as another tribute to Poe in the scene of the therapeutic burial. The result is a satirical and thought-provoking surreal horror tale where Svankmajer conjugates grotesque, cool stop-motion animation, kinky sex, gothic horror imaginary, disturbing analogies, circular nigthmares, lunatics and meat puppets to built up a pessimistic political parable about mankind alienation and indecisiveness in industrializied societies.
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Format: DVD
Absolutely great movie, what else to expect from Svankmajer's creativeness and surreal imagery. Now add to the mixture: 2 Poe's obscure stories and De Sade's perversion. Wow, blasphemy, insanity, sex, introversion, revolution, are a few words to describe this excellent movie, all with the artistic and emotive touch from the master. I really don't want to extend the review, it will be much better if you watch it and came with your own personal interpretation, and don't loose a piece of mind in the process.
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Format: DVD
Jan Svanksmajer strikes again with this relentless and provocative film. A wonderful tapestry in which demons emerge. And what other place in the world is the most appropriate but a madhouse to show the decline in all its dreadful human cruelty and thirst for hidden perversions inimiginable?

With inspiration coming from Poe and the Marquis de Sade, the film revolves around Jean Berlot, who is unwittingly recruited by a stranger who leads him to the antechamber of hell. An asylum where black masses, perversions, and punishments therapeutic fuerales numbered according to the degree of cruelty are put into practice. Jean meets Charlotte, an attractive woman who falls for revealing some of the secrets behind the door.

An amazing trip to the antipodes of the unfathomable horror universe without restrictions. Svnakmajer pays well-deserved tribute to the legendary movie Marat Sade by Peter Brooks, 1967.

Do not miss it.
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Format: DVD
How to describe Svankmajer's films? They taunt the sense of reason, showing you that rationality doesn't go nearly all the places that imagination does, or that madness does.

Jean Berlot finds himself in a mental hospital, where the patients seem to be in charge and the keepers are just as mad. It hardly seems to matter who's on which side of the locked door. He witnesses bizarre transformations of people and chickens, satanic masses filled with thundering blasphemy, and torments being called treatments. Or does he? Which of these events appear only in his own mind?

It's never quite clear, and baffling interludes of stop-animation give only indistinct hints. There's a commentary and narrative in Svankmajer's creeping masses of flesh, throbbing but inanimate tissue, and dancing beef tongues, but for the life of me I can't be sure what it is.

I've liked other of Svankmajer's works better. Alice carries a clearer story, winding itself in a loose orbit around Lewis Carroll's beloved classic. Some of his shorts seem at least as clever and far more legible. Still, this appeals to a dark sense of wonder. If you consider linear storytelling to be over-rated, you might find a lot to enjoy in this one.

-- wiredweird
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was introduced to Jan Svankmajer's work with a feature film called "Conspirators of Pleasure" which was a movie with no dialogue and dealt with masturbation. That said, I fell in love with the czech surrealists work and animation.

"Lunacy" is another gem (this time with dialogue!) and is based loosely on the works of Poe and the Marquis de Sade (but you can tell that from reading the dvd jacket, you silly monkey!)

and I know that there is dialogue in his other films such as "Faust" and "Alice", but this film seems to rely more on the words then the visuals.

From all of his films I've seen, this could very well be my favorite.

I know this is just my opinion and everything, but you owe it to yourself to purchase this film. Watch it, Love it, and let your friends borrow it and enjoy it's awesomeness!
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