Karel Zeman

  • Karel Zeman – Poklad Ptacího ostrova AKA The Treasure of Bird Island (1952)

    THE TREASURE OF BIRD ISLAND (POKLAD PTACIHO OSTROVA) – 1952, 77 min. Dir. Karel Zeman. Inspired by a Persian fairy-tale, and told in the ornate style of illustrated Persian manuscripts, Zeman’s first feature is set on a remote island, where the inhabitants discover a legendary treasure that brings them both joy and grief. For the first time in BIRD ISLAND, Zeman combined stop-motion puppetry and traditional animation to create a timeless, glittering world of wonders.Read More »

  • Karel Zeman – Na komete AKA On The Comet (1970)

    When a comet passes the earth very closely, it pulls a small part of North Africa with it. Carried along is a bunch of people. Among them Angelika, who just escaped from a ruthless weapon dealer’s ship, and her two brothers, who are searching her. Then there’s a group of natives, who plan a rebellion against the French colonists. All these conflicts become secondary when the people finally realize that they are doomed to live together on an alien planet. However this time of peace and world-happiness won’t last for long…
    (Tom Zoerner, imdb)Read More »

  • Karel Zeman – Vynález zkázy AKA A Deadly Invention (1958)


    Plot / Synopsis
    The gloriously larger-than-life Czech fantasy Vynalez Zkaky (Weapons of Destruction) was based on a novel by Jules Verne. Set during the 19th century Industrial Revolution, the film concerns the efforts of the villainous Count Artigas (Miloslav Holub) to conquer the world with the aid of futuristic inventions created by kidnapped scientist Professor Thomas (Arnost Navratil). Having fallen in love with the professor’s virtuous, resourceful daughter Jeanne (Jana Zatloukalova), stalwart hero Simon (Lubor Tokos) does his best to sabotage Artigas’ schemes. Props essential to the action include a fished-shaped submarine, bicycle-style undersea shuttlecraft, and an impossibly huge cannon, secreted on a volcanic island. Curiously, when Vynalez Zkaky was unveiled to the world at the 1958 Brussels Film Festival, reviewers downplayed its most striking visual aspect: throughout the film, the art direction and special effects are brilliantly rendered in the style of 19th century engravings and woodcuts. In 1961, an English-dubbed version of Vynalez Zkaky, with character names changed and a few minutes’ footage excised, was released in the US as The Fabulous World of Jules Verne. ~ Hal Erickson, AllRoviRead More »

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