Prezít svuj zivot (teorie a praxe) (Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)) (2010) - Rotten Tomatoes

Prezít svuj zivot (teorie a praxe) (Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)) (2010)

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Eugene, an aging man, leads a double life: one real - the waking life he spends in the company of his wife of many years, Milana - and the other in his dreams, his sleeping hours being devoted to a recurring evolving dream of a beautiful young woman, Evgenia. Seeking to perpetuate his dream life, he goes to see a psychoanalyst, who attempts to provide an ongoing interpretation of his experiences. On the wall there are portraits of Freud and Jung, which become animated, alternately applauding, disapproving or fighting over her interpretations. The latest film from practising surrealist animator Jan vankmajer is a mix of cut-out animation from photographs and live action segments, combining real actors with their animated photographs, against black and white backdrops of photographed Czech buildings. This stylistic approach which, Svankmajer jokes during the films introduction, was due to lack of funds and saved on catering, provides freedom for imaginative collages, and humorous nods in the direction of some of surrealism's familiar practitioners (Dalí, Ernst, Buñuel). Drawn directly from vankmajer's own dreams, the film is a complex, multilayered story about aging, love, sex, childhood, trauma and dreams, steeped in Freudian and Jungian analysis and injected with a healthy dose of perversity. As Eugene labors in different versions of reality, vankmajer's own deeply curious take on reality manifests in all its surrealist splendor.

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Critic Reviews for Prezít svuj zivot (teorie a praxe) (Surviving Life (Theory and Practice))

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

A hit-the-ground-dead Freudian romp about an office worker's dream life.

December 8, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The film interestingly and subversively takes its stand on the idea that dreams are the real thing; waking life is an exotic, strange tissue of unreal diversions.

December 1, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

One of the most imaginative and visually arresting films of the year. Essential viewing.

December 1, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It harnesses the skewed workings of the subconscious, confirming Svankmajer as a master filmmaker and knocking films like 'Inception' and 'The Matrix' into a cocked hat.

November 29, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The Czech animation maestro's first feature for six years is a welcome, if sometimes slight, return. It's still 20 percent more weird and wonderful than your average dream-exploring, Freud-featuring cut-out animation.

November 28, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Weird without being alienating, educated without being haughty and heartfelt without being (too) sentimental, "Surviving Life" is a psychoanalytically guided tour through the dreams of a distressed individual.

January 14, 2020 | Full Review…

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