Brain Pickings

Blok: Playful, Voyeuristic Vintage Polish Experimental Animation


A whimsical cinematic children’s book for grown-ups.

In 1982, young Polish screenwriter, director and music teacher Hieronim Neumann created a captivating experimental animation titled Blok, after the term “block” used in much of Eastern Europe to describe the common apartment buildings erected mostly during Communism. In what appears to be a single continuous shot, you get a voyeuristic glimpse of a series of vignettes that take place inside various apartments. It’s kind of like HBO’s Voyeur Project stuffed inside a praxinoscope and transformed into a Rube Goldberg machine — or, as MetaFilter puts it, “like a children’s book for adults.” Enjoy:

Blok can be found on the altogether excellent 3-disc collection The Anthology of Polish Experimental Animation, alongside nearly 40 other gems.

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