Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Baron Prásil (1961)

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is a czechoslovak adventure film directed by Karel Zeman, based on the tales about Baron Münchhausen. The film combines animation with live-action and is heavily stylised. Czechoslovakian director Karel Zeman was responsible for some of the most visually innovative fantasies in cinematic history. His unique blend of live action and animation — including the use of Gustave Doré’s intricate illustrations as backdrops — is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before (except, perhaps, in Monty Python films, given that Terry Gilliam is an enormous fan of Zeman’s). It’s impossible to describe the sheer wealth of visual enjoyment Munchausen has to offer; see the stills below for a tasty sampling. The narrative basically consists of one bizarre, humanly impossible adventure after the other, and is written with a droll sense of humor. A love triangle is also woven seamlessly into the proceedings, as Munchausen — who fancies himself quite the ladies’ man — finds himself unable to convince beautiful Princess Bianca (Brejchová) to choose him over the Moon Man. In the end, however, Munchausen remains unperturbed, and ready to take on whatever escapade awaits him next.

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