Czech Karel Kopfrkingl enjoys his job at a crematorium in the late 1930s. He likes reading the Tibetan book of the dead, and espouses the view that cremation relieves earthly suffering. At a reception, he meets Reineke, with whom he fought for Austria in the first World War. Reineke convinces Kopfrkingl to emphasize his supposedly German heritage, including sending his timid son to the German school. Reineke then suggests that Kopfrkingl's half-Jewish wife is holding back his advancement in his job.Written by
This film has a 100% rating based on 6 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »
Interiors, fashion and hairstyle are in some cases obviously from the sixties... See more »
My sweet. This is the blessed spot where we met 17 years ago. Only the leopard is new. Kind nature long ago relieved the other of his shackles. You see, dear, I keep talking of nature's benevolence, of merciful fate, of the kindness of God. We judge and criticize others, rebuke them. But what about ourselves? I always have the feeling that I do so little for you.
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Juraj Herz's The Cremator, lost to Western audiences for many years before being recently rediscovered by the Brothers Quay, is an extraordinary surreal meditation on the political horror of 1930s Europe. Hrusínský's remarkable title performance literally and figuratively fills the screen, an alarming depiction of a deceptive and compulsive character slowly inhabited by Nazi political dogma. In some respects The Cremator recalls Polanski's claustrophobic nightmare Repulsion, though this is arguably even further out than Polanski could manage. Utterly devastating but incredibly watchable (the 90 minute running time passes in a heartbeat), this is a real find. I posted this comment because I was aware that the only other comment on the film was negative, and I really do believe it is worth your time checking this out.
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