His film Who's Afraid of the Water Sprite won so many awards at Cambridge International Student Film Festival, that they renamed it this year to Watersprite Festival in it's honour. To celebrate his new post at The Mill as commercials director we thought he was more than worthy to pick June's Short of the Month...


"Championed by the eccentric creatives Burton and Gillingham, Jan Svankmajer is a Director who has influenced many a filmmaker. I'd argue even those who do not indulge in his mildly disturbing lovecraftian charm will have been indirectly influenced by the eye of this Czeck visionary . His style percolating through contemporary cinema, from generation to generation. 

The difficulty for me in choosing short of the month comes in deciding which of his shorts to pick. It's my belief that a short film should be concise and visually economic. A short should be as short as its story allows it to become. I also feel shorts should work as a poem, a visual metaphor, enjoyable in its own right but wider reaching in its subtext and concept. Svankmajer made what I feel is a perfect example of what a great short film should be, this being his 1989 animiation- 'Darkness, Lightness, Darkness.

You can watch this short and enjoy its dark humour, purely as it is, an amusing spectacle of fantasy. Or you can look deeper into the visceral aesthetic, taking a personal perspective and understanding from the madness. Which is why 'Darkness, Lightness, Darkness' is my Brainwash short of the month for June."