Surviving Life (Theory and Practice) (2010) - full transcript

The film uses a mix of cut-out animation from photographs and live-action segments, and tells the story of a married man who lives a double life in his dreams, where he is married to another woman.

Ladies and gentlemen,

we couldn't raise enough cash.

This was supposed to be a regular
feature film,

but since we didn't have the money
we had to use a much simpler technique.

Paper-cut-out animation

like in the old kids TV programs.

So we were able to shoot the whole thing in the studio
and keep the transport costs to a minimum.

We also saved money on actor's fees,
as we mainly used just photographs of them

and on catering,
because photographs don't eat.

So this is not a formal experiment

just a poor imperfect substitute for a live-action film.

A kind of fusion movie.

I've called it a psychoanalytical comedy.

Psychoanalytical because one of the characters
is a psychoanalysist.

As for the comedy, I'm pretty sure you
won't find much to laugh at.

Neither did we when we were shooting.

One morning I was woken up by a dream
and I said to myself:

It looked like the opening scene of a film.

So I wrote the other scenes.

I've always wanted to make a film
in which dream blends with reality.

And vice versa.

As Georg Christoph Lichtenberg tells us

only the fusion of dream and reality can
make up the complete human life.

Sadly, our civilization has no time for dreams

there's no money.

The reason I've included this introduction
is not to gratify my... narcissism...

It is because when we finished cutting the film,
we discovered that it was too short.

That's what animated films do.

They shorten time.

They are quite simply faster than live-action movies.

Two and a half minutes. Not a lot.



Milan! Hey, wait!

- Were you calling me?
- Who else?

I'm afraid you're mistaken. You're
confusing me with someone else.

Come on, Milan!
I have to talk to you.

But my name really isn't Milan.

I'm so sorry, I was really
quite sure... I'm sorry.

The fact I'm not Milan doesn't mean

we can't have a coffee together.

Alright. But I must
go and change first.

I can't go anywhere
looking like this.

Excuse me. Could I have
a blank ticket please?

Next door.

- How do you mean - next door?
- In the cinema.

I'm sorry?

In the cinema next door.
At the box-office.


That's what I said.

You must be joking.

- Hurry up, Milan!
- Get on with it!

- Get on with it!
- Hurry up, Milan!

- Get rid of him!
- Chuck him out!

Get on with it!

The winning numbers in
today's draw are:

3, 5, 12, 28,

32, 33.

The lucky winner should come
forward to collect his prize.

I repeat: The winning numbers

in today's draw are:

3, 5, 12, 28,

32, 33.



Here I am!

I haven't introduced myself.
I'm Eugene.


You be nice to her, you bastard!
She's a saint, d'you understand.

A saint!

D'you hear?

Eugene, wake up!

Wake up, come on!

What on earth
were you dreaming about?

You were gasping as if
someone was strangling you.

Eugene, did you get a
Sportipo ticket yesterday?

They're crazy in there.
D'you know what they told me to...

So you forgot again.

And this week
the jackpot's ninety million.

What's the point? Do you know

what the chance of winning is?
About one in thirty million!

Yes, but somebody always wins.

Why shouldn't it be us?

Your breakfast's on the table.

Wh... What's the matter?

You're snoring. Did you have
any good dreams, at least?

What do you mean?

Since you were asleep, I thought
you might have been dreaming.

Is that all you woke me up for?

I suppose I was.
Everyone has dreams.

I mean those dreams you
can't get out of your mind.

You're sure they mean something,
but you just don't know what.

Dreams so vivid that
for a while you don't know

if it was a dream
or whether it really happened.

Wait, yes.
I did have a dream like that,

but it was an awful long time ago.
How old was I - seven,

eight? It doesn't matter.

Every night, I dreamt I was
being chased by foreign soldiers.

In the dream I knew that
if they caught me they'd kill me.

So I ran away from them,
through the yard.

We lived in Vr?ovice in those days,
and there were little yards

and gardens between the buildings,

with walls and fences. And that's
the way I escaped from the soldiers.

Every night before I went to sleep
I would work out new escape routes,

so that later in my dream
I'd know which way to go.

I had that dream every night.

This went on for about a month,
until one day I realized

I had no escape routes left.

I'd exhausted all the possibilities.

Why did you have to choose
a different route every night?

If there was a safe route you
could have used it several times.

No I couldn't.

Nobody forbade me to do that in the
dream, but it was absolutely clear

that each escape route
could only be used once.

- That was the rule.
- Why?

I don't know. But there was
no doubt about it.

So when there were no other routes
for me to take I decided that

rather than get myself killed
I would simply not go to sleep.

My parents pleaded with me.
My mum cried.

My father thrashed me.
But I was quite determined

not to go to sleep.

- So what happened in the end?
- Well, I didn't sleep.

And in the morning my mum
packed me off to the doctor's.

- What did the doctor say?
- He told my mother not to cook me

anything too heavy for supper.
He said a full stomach gave you dreams.

- And then? - How d'you mean, then?
- Then what happened?

My mother started
making me semolina pudding.

What about the soldiers?

What soldiers?

- Now what is it?
- And what did you have for supper?

- Supper... when?
- What did your mother cook you?

I told you - semolina pudding.

No, I mean before that,
when you had the vivid dreams.

Since I was the only boy in the
family, I was allowed to have

the left-overs
from lunch for supper.

- My sisters were terribly jealous.
- What did you have for lunch?

My dad liked sauces,
and always with dumplings.

My dad wouldn't touch potatoes.
And sometimes there was some pudding...

Listen Milada, we're
balancing the books today

so I'll be home a bit late.

Have supper without me.

I'll get myself a ham sandwich.

Make sure it's not bad.

- What?
- Make sure the ham's not green.

Yes, of course
I'll make sure it's not green.

Excuse me...

I'll have the goulash as well.

Then the pork with sauerkraut.

The beef in tomato sauce...
With six dumplings...

And some pancakes.

I spend all my time cooking
healthy meals for you,

and then you go and stuff yourself
with God knows what.

You're just like a child.

Take these.

You have to be careful
what you eat at our age.

You can't just stuff yourself.

Now you take this -
five drops on a teaspoon

before each meal.

And just one roll and a cup of tea
with your food. And no sugar!

I'll be back in a minute.
Try and get some sleep.

Don't go yet, Standa. We haven't
seen each other for ages.

I was here just a few days ago,
about your haemorrhoids.

So what else is bothering you?

You know...
I'm not sure how to say this...

- Out with it. But make it snappy.
- What do you know about dreams?

Look, I haven't got time for
that sort of thing. I'm a GP.

Got a headache?
I'll give you pills.

Burnt yourself on the stove?
I'll give you some ointment...

Haemorrhoids playing up? I'll give
you a suppository. But dreams...

Shall I give you some Rohypnol?
That should stop you dreaming.

- But I want the opposite.
- The opposite?

I want some pills
that'll make me dream.

Now you keep off drugs, alright?
We're too old for that sort of thing.

I'm not talking about drugs,

I'm talking about ordinary,
good old-fashioned dreams.

Look, I really must be going.

She knows all about dreams.
It's part of her job description.

I met her at a seminar
on human sexuality.

Doctor Holubova? Who's she?

A psychoanalyst.

My name's Eugene.


I thought your name was Eva.

No it's Eliza.
It's always been Eliza.

My mother used to have
a bag just like that.

Except hers had the name
Eugenia on it.

Otherwise it was exactly the same.

I'm glad you're here.

I was afraid
I wouldn't see you again.

I thought maybe you didn't like me.

What will Milan say about this?
Who is Milan anyway?

Oh, I made that up.

I didn't know what to call you.

I just wanted to make you notice me.

Come on Eugene. Let's go
to my place. It's just up there.

I might as well
make you some coffee myself.

Wouldn't that be a shame,
after you've got yourself all...

That's already served it's purpose!

No, no. I'm a terrible dancer.


It seems we have more in common

than I thought.


Don't cry, Peter.

Mummy's here.
Look, Teddy's smiling at you.

Up we go in the plane! Whrrr...

Well, I'd better be going.

Dreams are the product
of our subconscious.

Through them,
but not only through them,

the subconscious reveals and
fulfils our most secret desires.

According to Sigmund Freud, dreams
are a fulfilment of our wishes.

From this point of view your dream
is not so difficult to interpret.

It has certain obviously
infantile features.

It's easy enough to decode.

The melon and the egg
represent pregnancy.

The World cinema is
pretty obvious, isn't it?

As for the woman's handbag -
that's an obvious vagina symbol.

The fact that it's made of crocodile
skin suggests a danger, a warning,

telling you not to get involved
with the vagina

of the unknown woman.
Are you married?

Yes, of course. I have been
for twenty-five years.

Any children?

No, my wife wanted children...

...but now it's too late.

Your wife probably
wouldn't think much of me

for giving you this advice...

Find yourself a girlfriend
and your dream will disappear.

You don't understand. I don't want
to get rid of my dream.

Quite the reverse.

I've never been unfaithful
to my wife. I'm happy with her.

Yes, I'm happy. That's
not what this dream's about.

I can feel it... here...
and even here.

It's good that you're happy.

But do you think your
subconscious is happy too?

Your dream quite clearly points to
frustration and unfulfilled desires.

How often do you have
sex with your wife?


once a month.

Is your wife so undemanding?

No, it's me actually.

You mean you no longer find
your wife sexually attractive?

No... far from it.

It's good you still find
your wife sexually attractive

after twenty-five years.

But does your subconscious
still find her attractive?

- What kind of question is that?
- Come on, my big teddy-bear,

let's see what we can do about
your frustrated subconscious.

You're very kind.
But you've missed the point.

That's not what the dream is about.

Do you think I'm wrong then?

I don't want to make things
difficult for you.

I thought it would be
the most effective therapy.

I appreciate your commitment, but...


Let's start at the beginning.

Tell me your dream...



I'd like
two Sportipo tickets please.


Two Sportipo tickets.

My wife told me the jackpot was
ninety million crowns this week,

- so I thought I'd have a go.
- Are you out of your mind?

This is a cinema - not a
post office or a betting shop.

I was told I could get
blank tickets here from you.

What jerk told you that?

Don't try it on with me, right?

If you want two tickets for
today's show you can have them.

If you don't, piss off.

I got held up at the doctor's.

The boss has gone to Brno,
so no one will be hassling us today.

Eliza, shouldn't we turn
the music down a bit?

Why? Don't you like it?

And why are you calling me Eliza?
What a silly name!

My name's Emily.
But if for some reason

you prefer the name Eliza,
I suppose I'll get used to it.

But I thought...

Don't think anything.

I'm happy you're here.


I can't...

I'm afraid little Peter
might come in again.

What's got into you today?

First you call me Eliza, then you
start talking about some Peter.

Wake up, for heaven's sake!

I mean your son,
your little boy, Peter.

I haven't got a son.

Why do you say that?

Because it's true.

Where have you taken him?

How many times must I tell you?
I don't have a child,

and I've never had one.

That's my little Teddy.

Who are you?

I'll ask the questions, right?

Are you Milan?

Where is he?



You mean Peter?

Where is he?

I don't know.

Tell me or I'll beat it out of you!

Get up, Eugene.
The alarm's gone off.

Did you get that Sportipo ticket?

Of course I did.

That's about all I can say.
I told you

your dream was wish-fulfilment.

Obviously little Peter bothered you.

You were annoyed
when he suddenly appeared.

Not surprisingly, since he spoilt
your chances of sexual intercourse

with a beautiful,
desirable young woman.

That's why your wish was promptly
fulfilled - in the next dream.

Peter had vanished.

But I didn't really mind Peter.

It just rather threw me
when he suddenly...

appeared... at an awkward moment.

But what about your subconscious?
Perhaps it was bothered by Peter?

You must realize
that we are constantly

at the mercy of the dark forces
of our unconscious minds,

that we actually have
no control over our thoughts

and actions.

But now I feel like Herod...
like a child-killer.

Because of my secret wishes -
which I know nothing about -

I have robbed her of
the child she loved.

If you could have seen
the look in her eyes

- as she held that teddy-bear.
- We are analyzing your dream.

Yes, of course we are.

But as I told you at the beginning,
these are no ordinary dreams.

You have to help me.

What do you think I'm doing,
for heaven's sake?

I haven't dreamt
for three days now. It's blocked.

That's good, isn't it?
It shows our therapy's working.

To hell with your therapy!
I want my dream back.

You have to help me get back there.

There must be some way

of consciously manipulating dreams.

Neither Freud nor Jung has
anything to say on the subject.

You must accept that.

There is no scientific method
for manipulating dreams.

What about unscientific methods?

Looking for anything particular?

No... that is, yes...
something about dreams.

About how to induce dreams.

That's the occult section there.

But you won't find anything on that.

I'd know if we had
anything like that.

I know a bit about the subject...
Artemidorus and so on.

Leave me your phone number
and if anything...

Sometimes things turn up,
you know.

If you're really interested
in that kind of thing

I might just be able
to track something down...

I have contacts...
Can't promise, mind you.

These things are pretty rare.

Money's no object. I won't haggle.

I'll pay the asking price.

The winning numbers
in today's draw are:

7, 6, 5, 3, 8, 9.

Will the lucky winner please come
forward to collect their prize.

I repeat: The winning numbers

in today's draw are:

7, 6, 5, 3, 8, 9.

Hey, wait!




Wake up! Terminus.



I see everything.

I record it all.

I am God!

Where's Emily?

Emily who?

Emily who owns this flat.

- You mean Elizabeth?
- It doesn't matter what she's called.

Her fellah won a packet
on the lottery

and bought some swank apartment,

but she didn't say where.

Not bad, is she?

- What do you want from me?
- Don't fool about with me.

I know you're loaded.

How much?

What was I saying?

- How much?
- Fifty-fifty for starters.

Are you mad? So much money!

What for?
Why should I give you anything?

You don't know why, you sonofabitch?

You think you can kill my kid
and get away with it?

You're gonna cough up, right?

I'll squeeze you
till your pips squeak!

Little Peter meant the world to me.

Do you understand?

And I meant the world to him.

And you ask me
why you have to cough up?

You bastard! Hand over the cash
or I'll slit your gizzard.

This time we're going to win.

Why should we?

What would we do
with all that money anyway?

What would we do with it?

We haven't had a holiday for years.

None of our wine glasses match.

All my skirts are too tight.

The washing-machine's
on its last legs,

the car's twenty years old,

I owe the dentist a fortune,

I daren't even dream of fur coat,

the flat needs painting,

a heel's come off
my last pair of shoes,

the toilet stinks,
the freezer doesn't freeze,

the carpets are threadbare,
the bath's covered in rust...

and you ask what
we'd do with the money!

The winning numbers
in today's draw are:

3, 6, 4, 7,

4, 3.

Wait a moment...

Here we are.
You said he was the father.

That's right. Little Peter's father.
At least that's what he said.

That's interesting. It could be
the key to the whole dream.

How was your relationship
with your father?

What's that got to do
with my dream?

I said he was Peter's
father, not mine.

Anyway, my father's name wasn't
Milan - it was Eugene. Same as me.

- And in the dream, did you hate him?
- Not really. He just disgusted me.

- Why?
- Why?

I don't know.

He just did.

He stank of drink.

Perhaps what you really found
disgusting was the thought that

in order to be Peter's father

he must have had a sexual
relationship with the child's mother

In other words, with your mistress.
Let's call her that.

Maybe that's why you killed him.

I didn't kill him. He slipped.
That's the first thing.

And the sexual side of it
never even occurred to me.

But are you sure it didn't
occur to your subconscious?

You say he disgusted you. OK.

Doesn't that also mean
you disgust yourself?

- What d'you mean?
- I'm just looking for a motive...

a complex. Didn't you say the man...

- Milan.
- Didn't you say Milan

was very like you in appearance?

Yes, he was.
Quite a bit younger, but...

Maybe by killing Milan you really
wanted to kill yourself.

To punish yourself for
having destroyed little Peter.

Last time I had the feeling
you regretted the loss of Peter

and were blaming yourself for it.

Well maybe I was... but as I said,

I didn't kill Milan. He slipped.

Start again. What are dreams?

Dreams are wish fulfilment.

So it makes no difference how you
got rid of Milan in your dream.

You were simply fulfilling a wish.

What did your father look like?
Are you very like him?

I don't know.
He left when I was very young.

- How old were you?
- Four.

- The same age as Peter.
- Hey, wait. What are you suggesting?

Did you hate your father
for leaving you and your mother?

I don't know. I was very young.

I suppose I did hate him sometimes.

But on the other hand it meant
I had my mother all to myself.

Now we're getting warmer. Do you
know the story of King Oedipus?

You mean that poor fellow
who poked his own eyes out?

Yes, that's the one.

He killed his father
and slept with his mother.

But he didn't know
they were his father and mother.

It was all a kind of prophecy,
he couldn't do anything about it.

- You seem to be defending him.
- I'm not defending him.

But imagine how he must have felt
when his own mother

chucked him out by the roadside

the moment he was born,
all because of some prophecy.

What about your mother?

What's she got to do with it?

Tell me about her.

I don't remember her very well.
Just kind of... fragments.

What kind of fragments?

Nothing important...

If you don't mind, I will decide
what is important and what isn't.

I don't remember her face at all.

Only her hands.

Great big hands,

carrying a strawberry cake
with four candles on it...

or unwrapping a razor-blade...

- Go on.
- With what?

- Tell me about the razor-blade.
- She...

She used to put it in the razor
and then shave her legs.

- Did you find it sexually arousing?
- I was very young.

I never thought
about things like that!

Perhaps not with your rational
mind. But what about your libido?

You don't really believe...


...children don't have a sex life?
You'd be amazed!

There is one other strange memory.

Let's hear it.

I remember her teaching me to swim.

Like this...

And two and three...

And with every stroke the water
in the pool became redder

and redder until
in the end it was bright red.

It was probably because of that
memory I never learned to swim.

Don't you remember anything else?

Soon after that
they put me in a home.

- After what?
- I told you.

- After my father left.
- How old were you? - I was four.

The same age as little Peter?

Don't keep going on about that brat!

And you said you didn't mind him!

- I'm sorry.
- No, that's OK.

Releasing your feelings is all part
of the therapy. But let's move on.

Let's look at an apparently
unimportant detail in your dreams:

your obsession with betting.

What's your attitude to excrement?


Oh, it's you.

Nothing yet, I'm afraid.

I told you those sort of books
are very rare.

You have to be patient.

I think I saw something
in your window.

If you don't mind
I'd like to have a look at it.

In the window?
You must be mistaken.

I went through all those yesterday.
I'd certainly have noticed...

- Still, I'd like to have a look.
- Alright then. Where did you see it?

That small one.

With the brown cover...

Not that one...

Next to it. That's the one!

"Dreams and How to Guide Them".

How did it get here? I don't
remember seeing this one before.

How much do I owe you?

100 Crowns, it says.

That's just a rough guideline.

Too little for a
rare edition like this.

How much then?


Five hundred.


I'll give you a thousand Crowns.

It's a gift at the price...
but if you insist.

Is anything the matter?

That's impossible.

You know what's really
extraordinary about it?

It's genuine! The paper,

the watermark, the dye, everything.
Except for this head.

Do you know who it is?

No... I don't.

I've no idea.

It looks as if someone
at the National Mint

allowed himself a little joke.

It's certainly quite a curiosity.
There can't be many of these about.

Someone must have
fobbed it off on me.

No, no. That's alright.

See if you've got any more of them.

Have a look at home.
I'll give you a good price.

For each one of these
I'll give you two ordinary notes.

How's that for an offer?

The two musicians
I hired in a nearby bar

kept playing the same waltz

that had been going through my head
ever since the last ball,

at which I met Countess S.
for the first time.

The melody constantly
evoked her smile,

the fragrance of her hair,
the touch of her body as we danced.

Lulled by the pleasant associations

conjured up by the music,

I began to fall asleep,
the waltz still playing in my ears.

Imperceptibly the music passed from
the realm of reality into my dream.

Later, when I was fast asleep,

my assistant placed
in my mouth an iris root,

which I began to suck in my sleep.

With the taste
of the iris juice in my mouth,

accompanied by the sound of
the waltz, I soon began to dream.

I saw her - Countess S. -

standing at a window.

The setting sun illuminated
the table in front of her,

upon which stood a basket
of purple irises,

her favourite flowers.

So, what's this we're reading?

"Dreams and How to Guide Them"?

Not content with spending
half your time here asleep,

you're actually studying ways of
making your sleep more entertaining.

That really takes the biscuit!
Come into my office, will you?

Excuse me,
could I have my book back?


So you think
that'll save you, do you?

I've seen plenty of that sort.

And where are they now?


I'll take it.

- You're home early.
- The boss is away at the Trades Fair

and I've managed to get
through my backlog. By the way,

I got a bonus.
Buy yourself something nice.

That's wonderful!

Do you happen to know where
those old things of Mother's are?

- What things?
- You know, all that stuff she left.

What do you want it for?

We're having a collection at work...
for "People in Need".

It's just a lot of old rubbish.
You can't give that stuff away.

I'll have a look anyway.

Where is it? At least
it would be a goodwill gesture.

In the boxroom, in the white dresser
... and the box on top of it.

I don't want your help!

Excuse me, do you know
where I might find Elizabeth?


Did you say Elizabeth?

So you still don't know her name?

You pathetic idiot.

Do you still not realize
what's going on?

Or are you just playing the fool?

I'll pay you.

Are you trying to bribe me,
you swine?

I am incorruptible.

I am Mother and Father Ubu.

I am the Great Mogul,

the Third Eye.

I am Brahma.

And you think you can bribe me?

Eugene! Here!

Here I am!

Wait. I've got
a surprise for you.

"For Eugene"

Elizabeth, how did you know
that was my favourite cake?

And why the candles?

You'll never get
my name right, will you?

It's Eugenia, silly.


But I thought...

And it's four weeks
to the day since we met.

There's a note.

Read it out, will you.
I've left my glasses at home.

I thought this was your home.

Dreams are our second life.
G?rard de Nerval...

And sometimes they're our first.

Eugene, I've brought you
your glasses.

I'm sorry?

I... I'm sorry.

I thought...

Eugene stopped working
here a week ago.

He got the sack...

That is, he quit... by mutual
agreement. Didn't you know?

Promise you'll never leave me.

I couldn't bear it.

I want a child.

Your child.

My darling.

Eugene isn't a child, you know.

He probably found a better job,
and wants to give you a surprise.

What about all that
talking in his sleep?

The other night he started
shouting for someone called Eliza.

I've got this feeling...

Here. There's a woman
behind all this.

A woman? Eugene!
Don't make me laugh.

Well he's at that
time of life, you know.

You'd be bound to notice, surely.
At the very least... in bed.

That's just it.

How do you know it'll be a boy?

I know. I just know.

And he's going to be called Eugene.

- Won't that be too many Eugenes?
- No, it has to be Eugene.

If you like you can call him Peter.

Eugenia... Eugenia...

Wasn't that you mother's name?

I'm not surprised. Looks like we've
finally hit the nail on the head!

Do you realize
who you've got involved with?

Your anima!

My what?

The anima is the female part of the
male psyche. In fact it's your soul.

The archetypal image of woman
that every man carries in his heart.

That's why she first
introduced herself as Eve.

The biblical Eve is
a collective archetype,

the symbol of woman per se.
Women generally.

She changed her name from dream to
dream in a process of individuation,

until she arrived
at the name of your mother.

Now it won't change again,
I can promise you that.

The image of the mother is to a
great extent the image of the anima.

But I'm in love with her.

We're expecting a baby.

With your anima?

With Eugenia.

What on earth came over you?
Getting your own anima pregnant?

That's worse than incest. How do you
expect me to deal with that?

Great Mogul? What else?

The Third Eye... and...

Brahma... and last time it was God.

- What about Napoleon? Or Karl Marx?
- No, not them.

- No doubt they'll be next.
- How d'you mean - next?

You have a pretty conceited superego.


That old woman with bad breath.


A conscience with halitosis!

I know everything.

Congratulations. Who are you?

The Great Mogul? God?

The Third Eye?

- Eugene's wife.
- Come in.

Sit down.

There's one thing you should know.
I'll never let him go.

Good for you.

So it's not serious between you?

On the contrary. I always
take my patients seriously.


You mean Eugene isn't your lover,
but your patient?

Is he ill?

I wouldn't say he was ill.

He has dreams.

- Dreams?
- Yes. Dreams.

He's going through a difficult time.
Surely you must have noticed.

What kind of dreams?

As a doctor,
I'm bound to confidentiality.

Well if you can't tell me
as a doctor, then... please...

tell me as a woman.

As one woman to another.

Alright then.

But don't cry, for God's sake!

Sit down.
This may take some time.

It's a boy.

Doesn't he remind you of anything?

Of course... I was forgetting
your childhood amnesia.

She's a saint, you brute!

A saint!

I am the Pope!

I'm Napoleon!

I'm Karl Marx!

Had a good day at the office?

You know...
the usual boring routine.

Oh, I almost forgot.

We got a bonus.

What, again?

Don't cry. We'll soon be there.

You should've kept an eye on him,
shouldn't you?

Not a chance!
When their mothers call,

they all go running!

Excuse me.
Do you know your way round here?

I know my way round everywhere,


I'm looking for someone
called Eugenia.


Eugenia... It rings a bell.

She has a young child, and often
carries a crocodile-skin handbag.

Crocodile, eh? Nasty brutes.

Do you know anyone called Eugenia?

What do you want with her?

Me? Nothing.
But this lady's looking for her.

She stole my husband.

I'm Noah's Ark.

I'm the Heavenly Jerusalem.

I am the Hammer of Thor.

I am Kriemhild's tunic,

I am the Root of Jesse,

I am the Emerald Tablet,
I am Sargon of Akkad,

I am the Royal Boar,
I am the Agrimony Elixir,

I am the Tenth House...

I am the Silverweed,
I am the Chinese Melon...

I am Cernunnos...

It's terribly important...

I found this photograph
in the studio...

Do you happen to know
how it could have got there?

You're a fine one!
How should I know that?

If it was among all that junk,
that's stuff old Fikejz left behind.

- Who's that?
- I've never seen them before.

- I mean who's old Fikejz?
- The photographer, of course.

- Where can I find him?
- I don't know.

I heard he was in some home or other.

Excuse me, I'm looking for Mr Fikejz.

Well if it isn't Milan! Fancy
you remembering your old friend!

And so young-looking?
How on earth do you do it?

Look at me - compared to you
I'm an utter wreck.

I'm sorry Mr Fikejz.

You must be
mixing me up with someone else.

I believe you're right.

Milan's been dead for
a good forty years.

But you're the very image of him.

Except he was only about thirty
when... when he died.

But I'm sure that's not
what brought you here, is it?

Maybe it is.

Do you remember this photograph?

Where did you find that?

Beautiful Eugenia!

He always had
better luck than me with women.

And that's their little Peter.

A few days
after I took this picture...

Milan... died.

Actually, his name wasn't Milan,
it was Eugene, after his father.

In their family the firstborn son
always had to be called Eugene.

They kept it up for
about ten generations.

But Eugene hated his father and
couldn't bear people calling him.

the same name as his father.

So we had to call him Milan.

Even the little boy's real name
wasn't Peter, but Eugene as well.

Much as he hated his father,

Milan didn't dare
break the family tradition.

But Peter is what he called him -
his own feeble attempt at rebellion.

He moved just
as I pressed the shutter.

That blurred head - it was almost
like a warning, a premonition.

What happened to him?
How did he die?

They say he slipped... tripped over
the kiddie's building blocks

and cracked his head
on a table, or a step

or something. Silly way to go.

If he hadn't been drunk,
of course...

- What about Eugenia?
- It was a terrible business.

Eugenia was really beautiful,
but mad as a hatter.

When Peter was born,

Eugenia lost all interest in Milan.

She began locking herself in the
bedroom with little Peter

and lavishing all her love on him.
Milan couldn't take it.

He went to pieces,
took to the bottle...

then he really started
going downhill.

- Then what happened?
- When Milan died,

Eugenia was somehow convinced

it was little Peter
who killed him,

She believed he'd pushed his blocks
under Milan's feet on purpose.

After that she just stayed
in the bedroom with Peter,

watching over him.

Day and night she just sat there
watching him, holding his hand.

She was afraid the police would come

and take him away in handcuffs,
and put him away for murder.

- Why did she believe that?
- I told you. She was crackers.

How did it all end?
Stop keeping me in suspense!

One day they found them
both in the bath

with their wrists slashed.

Both who?

Eugenia and little Peter.

First she cut her own wrist,
then his.

She couldn't stand it any longer:
the fear, the anxiety, the waiting.

She simply couldn't survive
her own life.

Like the teacher in Fellini's Dolce Vita,
who murdered his whole family

to save them from life.

Eugenia and Milan just loved it,
it fascinated them.


That film of Fellini's. They must
have watched it fifty times.

- It must be hereditary.
- Everything's hereditary.

Everything we know
is simply a memory

of what we inherited.

They managed to save little Eugene.

She obviously didn't have it in her
to push the razor down hard enough.

Maybe her maternal instinct came
to the rescue at the last minute.

I know the rest.

This really does complicate things.

Why didn't you tell me
about the scars on your wrist?

- You never asked.
- I can't ask you everything, can I?

In fact I shouldn't need to ask
anything at all. You should...

spontaneously... associations...
anything that comes into your head.

But I don't have time for that.
Do you know how many patients I have?

Am I supposed to squeeze it all out
of you, like milking a lot of goats?

It's all the same to you. But how
am I meant to deal with this?

First, because of some secret wish,

I destroy the woman's child,

and in doing so it turns out
I was really destroying myself.

Then I kill off
someone called Milan,

who turns out to be my father,

so that I could have it off
with my own mother, or anima,

or whoever she is, and have a child
by her. A child who is in fact me.

This does seem to go slightly
beyond the usual Oedipus complex.

And on top of all that
my superego keeps popping up.

You were right, by the way.
It did claim

to be Napoleon and Karl Marx.
And the Pope.

And something else. Your wife was
here asking about you.

I told her everything.

It's either me...

or her.


Daddy... Daddy's back.









Open up! Do you hear me?

It's me, Eugene!






Don't cry little Peter.

It's only a dream.

Come on, little one.
Mummy's going to teach you to swim.

Look, it's easy.

And two and three...

See how easy it is.

Clever boy!

You have to learn to swim.

We must all learn to swim -
or else we won't survive.

And two and three...

and two and three...