Introduction by Irena Kovarova on April 22 at 2:30pm
Based on a pair of Czech fables, this rousing, medieval-set adventure charts the exploits of a young peasant whose dead mother returns in the form of a white horse, whisking him away on a quest to free her soul from purgatory and save three princesses from a host of hydra-headed dragons. Balancing moments of atmospheric lyricism with vigorous action sequences, the third feature-length collaboration between Trnka and composer Vaclav Trojan—who contributes a stirring, cantata-like score set to text by Surrealist writer Vitezslav Nezval—confirms the pair to be a creative partnership as fruitful as Eisenstein and Prokofiev or Hitchcock and Herrmann.
Song of the Prairie / Arie prerie
Jiri Trnka, Czechoslovakia, 1949, 20m
One of Trnka’s most delightfully silly efforts is a slapstick spoof of John Ford’s Stagecoach and Hollywood singing-cowboy Westerns based on a popular novel by Jiri Brdecka, who would later direct his own adaptation, the cult favorite Lemonade Joe (screening in the Brdecka sidebar).