Director: Jan Svankmajer
Year Released: 1994
Actually works well until Svankmajer has his characters and puppets start talking, and then you feel like you have to listen to the entire text line by line. Even his creative flourishes settle down after the first twenty minutes, and he begins repeating himself (notice one scene where Faust orders a devil to come and leave over and over again). Svankmajer's gift is still in the short film (Alice, another feature length work, was a disappointment), leaving Conspirators of Pleasure the full-length picture of his that I was completely impressed with (it didn't hurt that Conspirators was not only silent but also wonderfully perverse). When given the chance to operate on a larger scale, that single idea gets stretched out too far, and the telling gets old quickly. Curiously enough, fellow stop-motion mavericks the Quays have the same problem....