Surreal fantasies in place of propagandist motives

In programme

Surreal fantasies in place of propagandist motives

Surreal fantasies in place of propagandist motives — or animated collages by Emil Kubiš inspired by a series of unreal events

Block of experimental films by Emil Kubiš shows one of the transformation of so called amateur cinematography into an underground scene, which kept the personal fascination with analogue despite the fashionable fascination with video.

The 8mm film presented were shot in amateur production conditions (on Quarz DS8-M camera) on colour or black-and-white material of the s 8mm format and animation machine of Kubiš’s own construction and rightfully belong to the “sinking river of cinematography”.

The filmmaking rebel Emil Kubiš (1924-2007) at the time of his filmmaking beginnings, which go back to the first half of 50s worked in the Julius Fučík’s Working Club of the Electrotechnical Manufactory (which is where the centre of cinematographic activities has moved after the liquidation of the Brno Club of Cinema Amateurs). Here, in cooperation with his brother Ludvík, Kubiš shot informational and promotional company films – for example about the rules of the right usage of fork-lift or reports from the workers’ trips. Kubiš used part of this allocated product in his own films where he cast his relatives and friends. He shot his family videos on Admira 8D. Instead of stern and random documentation, Kubiš used imagination where the poetics of the live-action film has been made unique with the help of tricks created right in the camera (doubleexposition, fades, animations, stop tricks, etc.). From the years 1953 to 1963 an admirable collection of family films playing with various genres (e.g. grotesque, sci-fi, fairy-tale, etc.) has been preserved.

Right before the Velvet Revolution, a distinctive artistic shift is visible in Kubiš’s works. In 1990 Kubiš for the first time presented his author animated collages (shot on camera Quarz DS8-M) with social (or sociallycritical) references to ecology which helped him incorporate himself amongst the members of Czech filmmaking underground and experimental cinematography. Kubiš’s films from the 90s are still a fascinating audience challenge thanks to the unexpectedly contemporary and well-chosen soundtrack, purpose-built stern animation, and bold and distinctive artistic expression and rhythm.

Uncomplete filmography:

1953 An Unsuccessful Dinner Party
1954 Butterfly Catcher
1961 Planetora
1962 Secret of Old Coin
1963 The Trail Does Not End on Earth
1974 Salamander Hunt
1976 A Gigantic Beetle
1991 Secrets of Marvel Castle

1990 Journey Westward
1990 Prayer
1990 Storm
1991 One More Night
1991 Hands
1993 Wall
1994 Beetle
1995 Rock
1996 Autogeddon
1997 Toy
1997 Temptation



Secrets of Marvel Castle / Tajemství hradu Marvel

Emil Kubiš   11'   Czechoslovakia


Journey Westward / Cesta na západ

Emil Kubiš   3'   Czechoslovakia


Prayer for Marta / Modlitba pro Martu

Emil Kubiš   4'   Czechoslovakia


Storm / Vichr

Emil Kubiš   13'   Czechoslovakia


One more night / One more night

Emil Kubiš   4'   Czechoslovakia


Autogeddon / Autogeddon

Emil Kubiš   7'   Czech rep.


Black + Home / Black + Home

Emil Kubiš   11'   Czechoslovakia


Planetora / Planetora

Emil Kubiš   6'   Czechoslovakia