Film Series : The Puppet Master: The Complete Jiří Trnka

The Czech Year

Špalíček

1947, Jiří Trnka, Czechoslovakia, 76 min.

Show Times

  • Sun, Jun 3rd 3:45pm
  • Wed, Jun 6th 6:00pm

"The idea of an episodic pastorale based on seasons and holidays sounds like sappy kitsch... But Trnka's exuberant spirit blows away doubts and objections. His movie attempts to preserve a rambunctious, communal way of life that no longer is and possibly never was. The director's upfront artifice registers with a stunning immediacy that wipes out any sickly nostalgia." - Michael Sragow, Film Comment

The folk tales, myths, pageants, and customs of a Czech village flow from director Trnka's imagination in his first stop-motion animated feature, the film that brought him a major Venice Film Festival award and international fame. Made up of six seamless parts with choral narration composed by Václav Trojan, the film opens with a joyous musicale as an impromptu orchestra revels in the pre-Lenten spirit of "Shrovetide." Nature runs riot while villagers cavort in "Spring," with subtly painted sets providing a lovely backdrop to the director's heady array of birds and wildlife. "The Legend of St. Prokop" illustrates tales from the life of the Bohemian national saint, while "The Fair" and "The Feast" detail festive seasonal highpoints of agrarian life. "Bethlehem" provides a fitting final sequence of Christmas customs centering on the Nativity. In Czech with English subtitles. New DCP digital restoration. (BS)

Photo courtesy of Czech National Film Archive.

SUNDAY DOUBLE-BILL DISCOUNT!
Buy a ticket at our regular prices for the first Jiri Trnka program on any applicable Sunday this month, and get a ticket for the second Trnka program that day at the discounted rate with proof of your original purchase: General Admission $7; Students $5; Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second feature only. Discount available in person at the box office only.)

Play Trailer