Excellent stop-motion animation film from one of the best Czech filmmakers, Jirí Trnka. It tells the ancient story of Czechoslovakia, how it was founded by Czech, the Forefather, and a ...
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Bayaya, a young peasant, protected by the spirit of his dead mother, arrives at the castle of the King, where he entertains his three daughters. He soon realizes that the three princesses ... See full summary »
A delicate and secluded ceramist sees his orderly life turn upside down, when a gigantic hand in a white glove invades his space, demanding that a sculpture of itself is made. When will the hand's obstinate demands stop?
The first puppet kinescope in the world. It is based on the famous poetic comedy by William Shakespeare. Three worlds meet in this story: the noble world of three Athens couples, a common ... See full summary »
Arsène Lupin, the multifaceted gentleman thief, steals two masterpieces from the President of the Council. Some time later, posing as Monsieur Gilles, a winegrower who is marrying his only ... See full summary »
Adapting Jaroslav Hasek's raucous satirical novel, and also bringing Josef Lada's equally famous illustrations to garrulous puppet life, posed Trnka one of his biggest creative challenges. ... See full summary »
Bruno has tried to forget, but he still carries the scars of his past, on his skin and under, hidden within the creases of his soul and body, like the illness that consumes him slowly. One ... See full summary »
Michele, a young intellectual, enters an existential crisis when, without realizing it, his conception of life comes into conflict with collective morality. The result is a serious neurosis... See full summary »
Vittorio De Seta
Excellent stop-motion animation film from one of the best Czech filmmakers, Jirí Trnka. It tells the ancient story of Czechoslovakia, how it was founded by Czech, the Forefather, and a series of legendary episodes of heroes, queens and kings, inspired in a book by Alois Jirásek compiling the Czech myths.Written by
My curiosity about Czech folklore, my love of stop-motion animation, and my interest in film history weren't enough to sustain me through Old Czech Legends.
Tnka was an animation pioneer, like Winsor McCay or Ub Iwerks, and like many such pioneers his work has all kinds of problems that later animators, following his lead, would go on to solve. The images are dark, ugly, and often indecipherable; the movement of both the puppets and the camera is jerky and awkward, and the plots manage to be both uninterestingly simple and difficult to follow.
I'd never want to diminish the enjoyment others find in Old Czech Legends, but I found it to be a labor to sit through. The music, which is initially appealing, becomes overwhelming and adds to the movie's overall feeling of chaos.
I'm a huge Svankmajer fan and love the early papercut animation of Michel Ocelot. Old Czech Legends, meanwhile, reminded me of the stop-motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer short that used to be televised every winter - never a favorite of mine - minus the simple, accessible plot.
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