Introduction by Irena Kovarova on April 21 at 2:30pm
Trnka’s adaptation of a classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is an enchanting animated jewel box. Framed by live-action sequences—about a lonely boy shut away from fun and play—the story unfolds as a child’s dream vision, a tale of illusion versus reality in which a Chinese emperor is ensorcelled first by the song of a nightingale, then by its mechanical replica. Working in a rich red, green, and gold visual palette, Trnka conjures a hallucinatory storybook world of moonlit bamboo forests, softly glowing Chinese lanterns, and bursting fireworks displays all set to a gorgeous, rhapsodic score by his key collaborator, Vaclav Trojan.
The Devil’s Mill / Certuv mlyn
Jiri Trnka, Czechoslovakia, 1949, 20m
A barrel organ grinder meets the devil on a mysterious moonlit night in this haunted-house fable, which showcases Trnka’s atmospheric use of sound to conjure a macabre mood.