Essay Preview: Jabberwocky
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Director Study Essay
How has the director presented relevant issue/messages to his audience? What influences might have inspired him/her?
Chosen Film: Jabberwocky
Jabberwocky, directed and created by Jan Svankmajer in 1971, is a psychoanalytical, yet visually enriched interpretation of childhood. The director has presented relevant issues and messages such as the surrealism genre, childhood, context in society and adulthood. Various devices such as the close up and animation are used in order to achieve this. Influences such as the context and culture of the film inspire Svankmajer to employ wonderful techniques to convey messages to the audience.

At the beginning of Jabberwocky, Svankmajer uses a powerful device: a full recital of the Jabberwocky poem from Lewis Carrolls Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. He uses this poem, which mainly consists of nonsense words, to accompany the random and bizarre animation such as a wardrobe running in the forest. This technique provides emphasis of the surrealist genre to the viewers. Svankmajers inclusion of the poem tells the audience that his dream was an extension of childhood and concerned his alter ego, which was about looking back at his childhood.

At the very beginning of the film, the director uses rapid cuts showing a child being smacked on the bottom and uses slapping sound effects. Thus, the theme of a cruel and harsh childhood is established.

Another issue Svankmajer addresses to his viewers is the reinvention or reinvoking of the world of childhood, which is his formative influence. Svankmajer also uses animation and personification of old childrens toys and tangible qualities of his imaginations, such as the sailor suit dancing to show the directors unique memories of his childhood. Svankmajers childhood is not only about playing and going to school, it also focuses on non-living objects having a life on their own.

Furthermore, symbolism and a close up of a decrepit rag doll with very small dolls coming out of its body describe Svankmajers thought of childhood. These devices centre on the message of rebirth, which creates macabre images in the audiences minds and displays an idealistic element of childhood.

The recurring motif about childhood is prevalent through the directors use of close ups during the cooking of the dolls. A metaphor of hell is addressed to the audience and this is a clear example of the directors free play of imagination of his childhood. Svankmajers vivid ideas were most likely formed as a result of the lack of freedom permitted by a strict Victorian society in the 1960s.

The director also optimises his opinion about childhood by applying close ups of tree branches sprawling in and the close up of the rotten apples. These objects have an inner quality that can be brought with the viewers subconscious. In this case, the frightening and rotten elements of life are explored.

Svankmajers close up of soldiers marching with their guns pointing up is a connotation of regimentation and a disciplined and strict childhood. This message was highly influenced by the Victorian society during the 1960s.

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Jan Svankmajer And Director Study Essay. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/jan-svankmajer-and-director-study-essay-essay/