Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Old Czech Legends by Jiří Trnka

OLD CZECH LEGENDS / Staré povesti ceské

CZECHOSLOVAKIA | 91 MINUTES | 1953| Czech with English Subtitles 

The Czeck film Director Jiří Trnka is renown as the great master of puppet making and puppet animation. His contribution to that special art form is quite significant. Because of his influence in animation, he was called "the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe".

For his Old Czech Legends, Trnka chose six classic Czech folktales, more specifically, historical legends that were put into a literary form in 1984 by the writer Alois Jirásek in his book with the same Czech title as Trnka's film.

Trnka is careful to vary the tales' tone and tempo, transforming long forgoten heroes of national legends into living characters, incarnated by his very unique puppets he designed and made himself. Trnka’s work is equally impressive for his innovative editing, lighting, and sound. He was a winner of many international film award, raising the bar for the future puppet animators and influencing their work, even of the Quay Brothers. 

The film represent a unique opportunity to become acquainted with the work of a master puppeteer Jiří Trnka, and to get to experience his way of transmitting a narrative through his animated puppets.

The film was featured at the Montreal's FNC 2017 film festival (Festival du noveau cinéma) in LES INCORTOUNABLES (THE UNAVOIDABLE) category.     

"The lives of the earliest inhabitants of the historic land of Bohemia, recounted in a series of six stop-motion animation segments. Released in 1953, this film by the Czech director breathes humanity and empathy into the folk tales behind the heroes and legends of Czechoslovakia. Inspired by the book Ancient Bohemian Legends by Alois Jirásek, Old Czech Legends is proof not just of Trnka’s outstanding artistry and puppeteering talent, but also his amazingly inventive use of cinematic language."

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