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The dark and surrealistic animated art of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer gained international renown in 1983 when his work from the 1960s was shown in a retrospective at the Annecy Animation Festival in France. Svankmajer received his education at the School of Applied Art and in the Puppetry Department of the Academy of Performing Arts. Later he worked with Prague's Black Theater and the Laterna Magika theater. Svankmajer made his first short puppet film, The Last Trick of Mr. Schwarzwalld and Mr. Edgar, in 1964. His subsequent films are quite macabre and twist normal events and objects to give them subtly horrific and surreal overtones. His feature-length live-action/animated version of Lewis Carroll's Alice (1988) is a good example of Svankmajer's work as is his 1996 film Spiklenci Slasti.

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