Conspirators of Pleasure

Director: Jan Svankmajer
Year Released: 1996
Rating: 3.5

Witty, metaphorical film about sexuality - more specifically, masturbation - and its impact on our social climate and inner world. Svankmajer builds the film perfectly: it starts off slow, with random bits showing five typical people and their daily lives, but as it proceeds their behavior and perverted eccentricities become more and more apparent and detailed in nature (each has his/her own distinctive fetish ranging from domination to fish ... yes, fish). What's especially interesting is how their entire days revolve around this: the film is nihilistic and Freudian in nature, commenting on our perversions and moral sickness. The result - the culmination of each character's painstaking creation of their own hidden world (with the use of animation techniques the director is known for) is both hilarious and pointed and implicating: we, in watching them please themselves selfishly, are also guilty of voyeurism. It's a powerful and fascinating film - reminding me of Makavejev's work in the seventies - that is constructed and shot in a meticulous fashion by a fabulous filmmaker. The length of the picture is its only drawback - it should have been about ten minutes shorter.