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OCT. 20-22

The infertile Bozenka desperately craves a baby, while Alzbetka, the young girl who lives next door, wants a playmate. But Bozenka’s biological clock turns out to be connected to a time bomb. To please the increasingly crazed woman, her husband shapes a tree trunk into the form of a baby, only to see the wood come to life and develop an insatiable appetite. Thanks to her book of fairy tales, Alzbetka recognizes the creature for what it is: Otesanek, who eats everything in his path. Alzbetka is not alarmed—she actually tries to take care of the monster, and she starts by feeding him the dirty old man who keeps looking up her skirt. On Friday at 8:30 p.m., innovative Czech fabulist Jan Svankmajer will introduce the world premiere of his Otesanek, a mostly live-action film that uses animation to create disturbing, surrealistic images of hunger for food—and for offspring. The film will show again on Sunday, as part of a weekend of Svankmajer features that also includes dual screenings (one each on Saturday and Sunday) of Alice, the director’s grown-up 1988 treatment of Alice in Wonderland; Conspirators of Pleasure, a dark 1996 fable inspired by Freud and de Sade; and Faust, a 1994 treatment that uses live action, Claymation, and marionettes to update Goethe, Marlowe, Gounod, and Grabbe’s versions of the tale of a man who tangles with the devil. TIMES TK. At the American Film Institute theater, Kennedy Center. $7. (202) 785-4600. (Mark Jenkins)