‘He [Svankmajer] is fascinated by the memories that physical objects contain by virtue of their enduring material existence.’ (Vasselen, 2009). A physical object is suggested to contain memories by existing and having a relationship between the user and itself. The pre-existing past of an object combines with this interplay to create a new function. For example the pins, in the Quay Brother’ ‘Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer’ become transporters for this cube instead of fastening materials together.

(Tom Margett – The Animator as a Catalyst, 2017).

Frame Narration

Frame narration is where a story has multiple layers and individual stories are told within an over-arching narrative. Yuri Norstein’ ‘Tale of Tales’ (1979) is an example of frame narration and the animator using narrative as a catalyst. It structures itself like a human memory, stories are recalled by associations rather than chronological order. The film uses several recurring characters, a poet, a little girl playing jump-rope with a disheartened bull, a young boy feeding apples to crows, and a grey wolf. These recurring characters tell the story of Russian culture in the 20th century, the Soviet Union and the losses suffered in World War Two. Each scene propels and accelerates the story to form the associations of memory and imagination.

(Tom Margett – The Animator as a Catalyst, 2017).


‘For the animated film-maker, however; nothing exists to be filmed until it is created and put in front of the camera…..There is nothing hidden between one frame and the next, whereas the space between every frame of an animated film represents a complex series of creative actions which, if the film is well made will be undetectable to the audience.’  – Cracking Animation