When a comet passes the earth very closely, it pulls a small part of North Africa with it. Carried along is a bunch of people. Among them Angelika, who just escaped from a ruthless weapon ... See full summary »
Krabat, a beggar boy, is lured to become an apprentice to an evil, one-eyed sorcerer. With a number of other boys, he works at the sorcerer's mill while learning black magic. Every ... See full summary »
This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting.
Josef von Báky
A poetic film about a dove getting lost on its way to Prague getting shot down by a paralyzed boy. An artist who finds the dove becomes friends with the boy. Together they take care of it bringing it back to recovery.
A grim portrayal of the shift from Paganism to Christianity in medieval Czechoslovakia - as a young virgin promised to God is kidnapped and raped by a marauder who her religious father seeks to kill in return.
Straight shooting Lemonade Joe cleans up Stetson City, in this musical parody of early Westerns, after shooting the pants off villain Old Pistol. Joe's endorsement of Kolaloka (Crazy Cola) ... See full summary »
Ondrej, a young boy who loves bees and bats, is introduced to his new mother, a woman much younger than his father. He brings her a basketful of flowers which she starts to throw in the air... See full summary »
A dark comedy about a murder and its consequences presented in a backwards manner, where death is actually a rebirth. The film starts with an "execution" of the main protagonist and goes ... See full summary »
Husband (senior ministry official) and wife find their house is riddled with listening devices put there by his own ministry. A harrowing night follows (reminiscent of 'Who's Afraid Of ... See full summary »
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
I agree: Get this Stateside, somehow. I was lucky to view a German-marketed Region 2 DVD, opting to hear the Czech dialogue with English subtitles, some of which were embarrassingly fleeting. I may next opt to listen to it in German...
I learned of Zeman as a youth with the occasional broadcast of "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne" (in a word, fabulous). This retelling of select tales of Baron Munchausen appeared with the next highest recommendation from fellow users.
It's a retelling with great style and no small amount of innovation. It had to have influenced the animation of Terry Gilliam among many others. Principally stop-motion, occasionally mixed with cel animation and live action, and an at-times monochrome background likely changed by hand. Of course the style is dated but well suited for a dated story, and therein lies the film's timeless charm.
Familiarity with the tales may slow the viewer's perception of the film's pace. The sandwiched sequence is also familiar: The visit to the Sultan's palace; escape to the sea, getting swallowed by a whale and keeping company in its cavernous gut; and the comical resolution of a battle between warring European powers.
What's unfamiliar is an opening and ending with a cosmonaut who meets other fabled travelers to the Moon and eventually wins the hand of a lovely princess on whom the Baron also has designs. But I frankly need re-view and determine just how the princess dismounts from "Tony's" swimming horse while he goes straight to another island...
Genuine wit, some of it very dry and some mixed with slapstick, helps bridge if not punctuate the FX. ("Jules Verne" doesn't have as much.) An imaginative musical score that verges on the wacky. And acting that is refreshingly relaxed and subdued. This Baron is no blow-hard but so innately gallant that he just can't help but rely upon his most powerful weapon...his imagination...to repeatedly save the day.
The film is perhaps not for the children unless one or both parents are around to help explain the historical context, the action, and its decidedly off-the-track pace. But it's a durable treat nonetheless.
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