Two Czech films this month @ Alex's - "Little Otik" and "Lunacy". Based on the folktale "Otesánek" by K J Erben, "Little Otik" is the the story of a childless couple, Karel and Božena, who "adopt" a tree stump baby and descend into baby madness when it comes to life. The couple cannot conceive and the husband sees babies everywhere. In fact, when they buy a little cottage in the country, the husband begins to clear out the trees, he takes a root and jokingly carves it into a baby to present to his wife. This joke backfires, as the wife immediately starts playing mommy and baby. Things spiral out of control when Little Otik comes to life. The neighbor girl, Alzbetka (Kristina Adamcova) figures out early on that everything is not as seems with the couple. Her character is the one stable person in this very indulgent, adult-baby world, but even she slurps her eggs and succumbs to Otik's needs.
Everyone wants everything right now. Božena decides to fake her own pregnancy, but can't wait the full 9 months. Alzbetka becomes sympothetic to Otik after he is locked in the basement for killing and eating the cat, the postman, and a social worker. This reminded me of the Night Gallery episode "Brenda". (I just loved that series as a kid, btw)
One of my fav reoccurring scenes were the ones with Alzbetka's dad on the couch after work drinking booze and watching commercials; he was clearly hypnotized by the media blitz. There was this constant mouth/food/slurp theme throughout the movie.
Here is a painting by Ana Bagayan titled "Little Otik".
It turns out there is also a restaurant in East Berlin called Little Otik.
The next film, Lunacy:
Pavel Liska plays Jean Berlot, a young, but mad lad, returning from his mother's funeral. He hooks up with the Marquis de Sade (Jan Triska) during one of his bad dream episodes while staying at an inn in the country and proceeds to go about the country side in a carriage. Jean is doomed from the start; his very cadaverous skin tones foretell that things will probably not end up well for him. They soon arrive at an asylum where the inmates and keepers have switched places. It seems the staff have been tarred and feathers and imprisoned in the basement. Charlotte played by Anna Geislerova, who is both beautiful and mad, convinces Jean to help free the captive staff members.
I loved the fog, overall dampness, and the dancing meat segments. Yes - I said dancing meat segments. Between each scene section we were treated to a piece of stop motion raw meat madness and calliope music. I can still here that music in my head. I kept glancing over my shoulder as I walked veeeery slooooowly past the meat counter this morning at the grocery store.