Tuesday, 25 December
MARKETA LAZAROVA 1967
Directed by František Vláčil
In Czech with English subtitles
This ambitious and multi-layered medieval epic, with its nearly three-hour long sprawling elliptical narrative and emphasis on symbolism and metaphor, is a stunning and legendary work of cinema. Filmed in black & white widescreen and often attaining a Wellesian grandeur, Vlácil penetrated the psychology of the times to produce an inspired work that has been described as an "experimental action film." Markéta Lazarová was voted by artists and critics as the best Czech film of all time.
František Vláčil directed Marketa Lazarova in 1967 during a two-year shoot (mostly in the wintry forests of southern Czechoslovakia) and it was loosely adapted from an avant-garde novel by author Vladislav Vancura. Set in the 13th century, the film details the clash of two rival clans, one pagan and the other Christian, and a young girl who lies in between this conflict... but it is important to note that Vláčil is not as interested in presenting a logical storyline as much as he wants to use cinema for its more profound hallucinatory qualities. Vlacil's real emphasis is on poetic images to create his narrative and this is what connects him with directors like Tarkovsky, Parajanov, Bergman and perhaps even David Lynch. The music score is by Zdeněk Liška (The Cremator, and many films of Jan Svankmajer), and the soundtrack has an experimental sound design, incorporating medieval choral chants with organic noises, making Marketa Lazarova a surreal historical masterpiece. And that is what makes it so special - it fuses together history and surrealism - two things that are normally kept totally separate. This is not history as dry facts, but history as delirium.
One critic summarizes: "Imagine Game Of Thrones simultaneously filtered through Ingmar Bergman and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Viewers whose brains don’t explode will begin to have a feel for František Vláčil’s 1967 film, Marketa Lazarová, a sprawling, purposefully disorienting historical epic."
This will be a high-definition screening.
Date & Time: