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8 Aug 2017 19:00 - 21:00

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen

In this unique treatment of the famous book by Gottfried August Bürger, Zeman was inspired by engravings used in the original edition from the hand of one of the most important illustrators of the 19th century, Gustave Doré. Filming the action in black and white, the director then used heavy tinting and different colors as symbols of the changing moods and surprising plot twists of the story. This fantastical adventure - interspersed with unique effects and funny gags - won many international prizes, among other festivals in Cannes and Locarno.

Photo: Karel Zeman Museum

Tony, a modern astronaut, lands on the moon, where he meets a peculiar party of gentlemen. This includes Cyrano de Bergerac, the heroes of Jules Verne's Voyage to the Moon, but above all the blustering Baron Munchausen. All warmly welcome him with a glass of wine and want to know if this “Moon-man” knows of the magic of life on Earth. Baron Munchausen then takes Tony with him back to Turkey, where they free the charming princess Bianca from the captivity of the malicious sultan. The boastful baron tries to charm her and thus plunges them into crazy adventures; they find themselves in the belly of a whale; he flies in the claws of a Roc, swims underwater on a seahorse, and is taken into the midst of battle riding on a cannon ball... In the course of these fantastic adventures Bianca becomes enchanted by the boldness of the dreamer Tony and together they reach the end where the story began – back on the pale Moon, which belongs not only to poets and fantasists, but also to lovers.

The digital restoration of the film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is a part of the project Restoring The World of Fantasy. Restoring The World of Fantasy is a joint project of The Czech Film Foundation, Karel Zeman Museum, and Czech Television. The aim of the project is within three years to digitally restore selected films produced by Karel Zeman to the finest quality, to screen them in cinemas and bring them to life again. The aim of the project is also to inform public about the importance of the digital restoration.

 About director

Karel Zeman, a true successor to Georges Méliès and a wizard of the big screen, as he was often called, was born in 1910 in Ostroměř near Nová Paka in northern Bohemia. A brilliant pioneer of special effects in film, he is still one of the few Czech directors to be universally recognized in the world of cinema. He began working as head of the advertising section of a department store in Brno. In 1943, the film director Elmar Klos was sent to make a report about a window-dressing competition which Zeman had recently won. Klos was so taken by Zeman's work that he immediately offered him a job at the Bata Film Studios, in the Kudlov suburb of Zlín. Thus began the professional career of this later world famous film director and production designer.

Journey to the Beginning of Time released in 1955 became Zeman's breakthrough film, his first to combine live action, animation and puppetry. Four years later, Invention for Destruction saw him shoot to world-wide success. The film was immediately sold to 72 countries and became the most successful Czech film of all time. Zeman continued to develop his highly successful use of special effects in The Fabulous Baron Munchausen and the two Jules Verne adaptations that followed. In the 1970's, partly motivated by his love for children and the desire to create films specially for them - but also in part because of the difficulty of shooting live action movies - Zeman returned to making strictly animated films.


Director: Karel Zeman
Screenplay: Karel Zeman, Josef Kainar (based on the book by Gottfried August Bürger) 
Camera: Jiří Tarantík
Music: Zdeněk Liška
Starring: Miloš Kopecký, Jana Brejchová, Rudolf Jelínek, Karel Höger, Jan Werich, Rudolf Hrušínský
Czechoslovakia, 1961, 83 min




Cinematheque Jerusalem, Hebron Rd 11, Jerusalem

8 Aug 2017 19:00 - 21:00


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

Date 2 Aug 2017 14:12:00

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