Conspirators of Pleasure
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Time Out saysSvankmajer, the Czech genius of surrealism, explores the bizarre erotic impulses of various individuals in modern Prague. One man collects porn magazines, chickens and umbrellas to fashion himself a weird creature. His neighbour does similar things with straw. Their newsagent tinkers with anatomical additions to his hi-tech TV set. The newscaster keeps carp in a bowl in her bedroom, while her neglectful husband hears operatic climaxes in his head whenever he encounters saucepan lids, fur, nails and latex fingers. Finally, there's the postwoman, who rolls bread into doughballs for very odd purposes, after delivering to the first man an ominous note simply saying 'Sunday'. Even though there's an inexorable logic to the meticulous preparation of the 'perversions' finally perpetrated by these loners, Svankmajer's humour is as black, sly and subversive as ever. While there's far less animated material here than in his earlier work (and, indeed, no dialogue), there's a marvellously morbid, grotesque sense of absurd sado-masochistic ritual at play.