Svankmajer’s film is about an office drone who strikes up an affair with a gorgeous woman in red. They rendezvous in his dreams. He discovers a method of artificially stimulating his dreams so he can play out this extended fantasy. But the more time he spends in this dream world, the more the swarms of eccentric erotic symbols (smashed melons, broken eggs, a teddy bear with a giant phallus) start to take on life-altering meanings. Expounding on (and cheekily refuting) Freudian and Jungian dream logic while dazzling the eye with animation that falls somewhere between ‘South Park’, ‘The Yellow Submarine’ and Terry Gilliam’s work for the Pythons, this manages to be Svankmajer’s most poignant and fully-formed feature to date. It retains all of his hallmarks, from the grotesque close-up photography to his fixations with food and sex. Its masterstroke, though, is the zestfully ironic way it harnesses the skewed workings of the subconscious, confirming Svankmajer as a master filmmaker and knocking films like ‘Inception’ and ‘The Matrix’ into a cocked hat. Just dreamy!
Cast and crew