Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Animation Timeline - Jiri Barta (1948 - Present)

Figure 1, (2010), In the Attic

Figure 2, (2006), The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Jiri Barta is another animator influnced by the grotesque and disturbing visuals of Svankmajer, using mannequinns, abandoned gloves of wooden puppets for the central characters. Sound is emphasised in Barta's animations of blood sloshing, etc and it gives a quality of the character and their relation to the created world. "Jiri Barta is a much heralded figure in animation circles. The Czech filmmaker has built his reputation on a series of wondrously strange films that combine live-action, hand-drawn animation, and stop-motion in exciting ways." (Rich, 2006) Barta is recognised for experimenting and combining the three techniques to gain his bizarre but successful results. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is one example where these techniques are used, the rats appear as real life and then when they run on set they transform into the puppets to match the style of set and characters.

       Figure 3, (2011), The Vanished World of Gloves

The themes of greed and gluttony are shown in Barta's town and puppet characters that feast on exotic banquets. The characters in Pied Piper drap themselves with precious jewels, whereas the townsfolk haggle at the market stalls to pay the least price possible so there is a comparrison between the villagers that live in hamelin. "The real gem here is The Pied Piper of Hamelin aka Krysar, Barta's unique puppet version of the famous story. Clocking in at about 53 minutes, it takes a leisurely tour through the story, with real rats combining with wodden somewhat cubist puppets representating the humans. Everything about the film is arresting; the architecture of the city looks as if it's erupted from the earth rather than been built, and the puppets are a beautiful range of figures and faces." (Wilson, 2006) The evidence explores how the characters and set has emotive gestures and have similarties to real life but also twisted to make the original tale dark. "Barta's film creates a striking contrast to the Disney conception of the pied piper legend as a children's comedy. Barta's adaption is a challenging and metaphoric morality that continues in the Czech tradition of Pied Piper adaptations began by Viktor Dyk in literature (Krysar, 1915)" (Kosuilca, 2002) Barta has the incoporated the original metaphors and dark symbolism in the same way that Lotte Reineger incoporated fairy tales using silhouttes. Barta has used twisted puppet forms to represent the characters of the story so that it is recognisable to the viewer who the people in the story are and what they represent in the plot.

Figure 4, (2007), The Pied Piper of Hamelin 2


Figure 1, (2010), In the Attic, @, Accessed on: 13th May 2010

Figure 2, (2006), The Pied Piper of Hamelin, @, Accessed on: 12th September 2006

Figure 3, (2011), The Vanished World of Gloves, @, Accessed on: 2011

Figure 4, (2007), The Pied Piper of Hamelin 2, @, Accessed on: 17th June 2007


Kosulicova Ivana, (2002), The Morality of Horror, @, Accessed on: 7th January 2002

Rich James, (2006), Jiri Barta: Labyrinth of Darkness, @, Accessed on: 19th September 2006

Wilson Jeff, (2006), Jiri Barta, @, Accessed on: 14th September 2006

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