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  • In one of Jan Svankmajer's many mind-blowing, deliberately weird short films, a picnic consists of a suit sunbathing, a phonograph playing records, a shovel digging holes, and a camera taking pictures. But boy is there a surprise at the end! Why portray the things that "Picknick mit Weissmann" shows, we may ask. No reason to ask questions like that. The point here is to get enthralled with what's going on. I would assume that Svankmajer probably didn't have a lot of fancy technology, living as he did in the Eastern Bloc, but he had imagination, and that's what counts.

    I still wonder what were those songs that the phonograph was playing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I shouldn't have been surprised by this movie, but I was. Usually Svankmajer's movies are, in my opinion, pretty self explanatory in terms of what he has in mind, but this one seemed to meander and dawdle for a while before it revealed really what it was about--at which point he had me cracking up. Svankmajer's a dark and funny guy, what can I say? The animation of this one is pretty much on par with his usual quality. Objects manage to have their own personality and interact in meaningful ways, at one point a ball is blown up by the image of a naked woman, providing possibly the single focal point of subconscious undercurrent in the movie before the reveal. The camera part was pretty self-aware, revealing in a way the objects recording themselves, like the movie itself is doing.

    I think my favorite part was the alternative form of digestion Svankmajer did with the suit.

  • GiraffeDoor24 April 2019
    A strangely terrifying exhibition of animation technique, using real objects, that goes somewhere you're not sure you want it to.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Picknick mit Weismann" is an animated 11-minute short film by one of the most famous Eastern European film directors: animation legend Jan Svankmajer. Basically, for the entire movie, we watch all kinds of objects spending a day in the green. This is one of the filmmaker's earlier works. Last year he turned 80 and when this was made, he was in his early 30s. There is an old German song sung early in this film and later on another song is played. If you are familiar with Svankmajer's work, you would have immediately realized that it was him. His style is just so unique. I personally found it more positive and uplifting than most of his darker other movies. Still, it's not really my preferred style of animation, thus the low rating. But go check out for yourself.
  • "Picknick with Weismann" was a very early work in the career of Jan Svankmajer, and compared to other shorts he had made prior to this one might expect a little more than what is offered here. The eleven-minute film contains little plot, hardly any premise, and the premise there is is there mostly so the filmmaker can demonstrate and show off his stop-motion skills. As always, these skills are very impressive, but they do not cater to create that truly unique world one accustoms himself to when watching a Svankmajer movie because they are not put to the proper environment. The setting is standard, and hardly a fantasy world; the action is simple and does not create anything more than some neat animation gags.

    The short sees a group of inanimate objects doing various things in an outdoor setting. There is a suit eating fruit in a rather clever way, a record playing on a record player, chairs messing around, and a shovel digging a hole. All of this is the type of inanimate moving objects stuff I myself have done previously in numerous animation clips (albeit not as elaborate), and it was entertaining even if it did get old when expanded to eleven minutes - but when the twist at the end came, I realized it was all worth it. Svankmajer's premise was weaker than others, and while containing some excellent tricks was not nearly as engaging, but his payoff was great and I would say it's definitely worth a look.