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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #37. Jan Svankmajer’s The Insects

The Insects

Director: Jan Svankmajer // Writer: Jan Svankmajer

Earlier this year it was announced that legendary Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer, at the age of 79, was working on a new project, his first since 2010’s Surviving Life (Theory and Practice). Known for his combination of live action and animation, famously in his 1988 version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice and more recently in masterworks like Little Otik (2000) and Lunacy (2005), Svankmajer returns to classic literature for the inspiration of his latest, The Insects. Previously taking pages from Goethe (Lesson Faust, 1994) and Poe (Lunacy), Svankmajer is loosely basing his latest on a 1922 play from the Capek Brothers, From the Life of Insects, combined with Kafka’s The Metamorphoses. Six amateur thespians meet in a pub to rehearse the Čapeks’ play, while their personal stories interweave with those of the characters they are about to play. The play is intended as a backdrop in which insects behave like humans and humans like insects. The division of six separate characters is reminiscent of the set-up used in his 1996 film, Conspirators of Pleasure.

Cast: Not available.

Producers: Athanor’s Jaromír Kallista (Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)), C-GA Film’s Juraj Galvánek (Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)), Amour Fou Filmproduktion’s Bady Minck (Hannah Arendt)

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available.

Release Date: Principal photography is set for this January, and we’re hoping Svankmajer returns to Venice, which is where 2010’s Surviving Life premiered.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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