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The stories of Baron Münchhausen were enriched by Karel Zeman with a character of a modern astronaut Tommy and compare two different worlds - the world of a rococo cavalier whose fantasy does not have any limits and the world of a young man of the present time. The astronaut (Rudolf Jelínek) finds on the moon the famous dreamer Baron Münchhausen (Milos Kopecký), who takes him back to earth and a variety of exaggerated adventures. Amusing variation on the old stories, using live action against deliberately artificial backgrounds. Written by
Zeman's magnum opus is every bit as compelling and otherworldly as the legends indicate. In fact, as I also have FABULOUS WORLD OF JULES VERNE & ON THE COMET on tape, take my word for it: PRASIL/MUNCHAUSEN is the Zeman to see if your only seeing one. Given those hallucinatory Gustav Dore-meets- Arthur Rackham visuals, the wildly disjointed narrative and from-hunger post-synched soundtrack actually ADD to the out-of-body experience that is this film. It's like stumbling into somebody else's fever dream. While Zeman's other films generally succumb to a deadly torpor around halfway through, this one is just so jampacked with surreal oddities and unforgettable bizarro setpieces that you're in flabbergasted joy right through to the end. Terry Gilliam (a major Zeman fan) attempted a lavish remake that missed the whole point of this film's one-of-a-kind quality: the sense throughout that this is a handcrafted film, an artisan's project free of studio meddling, brand name stars or big budget elephantiasis. PRASIL's amateurism is its crowning glory. Essential viewing...at least once.
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