Director: Jan Švankmajer
Release Date: 1967
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Historia Naturae, Suita © Jan Svankmajer‘Historia Naturae, Suita’ is an abstract, yet morbid and disturbing film.

It uses drawings, models, skeletons, stuffed and live animals, which change into each other and which perform morbid dances. Their antics are interspersed with a close up of a man eating meat.

We see molluscs (Aquatilia, foxtrot), insects (Hexapoda, bolero), fish (Pisces, blues), reptiles (Reptilia, tarantella), birds (Aves, tango), mammals (Mammalia, menuet), monkeys (Simiae, polka) and man (Homo, waltz), successively.

It shows us that we, men, are made from the same mortal matter as the rest of the animal kingdom, which in this film appear to us only as collectibles or food. This unsettling reminder is emphasized by the last shot, in which the human is replaced by a skull, eating…

The music is a perfect match to the surrealistic imagery, with its rather abstract, uncanny and atonal renderings of the dance forms mentioned.

Watch ‘Historia Naturae, Suita’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://www.totalshortfilms.com/ver/pelicula/379

‘Historia Naturae, Suita’ is available on the DVD ‘Jan Svankmajer – The Complete Short Films’

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