The Pied Piper.
Jiri Barta is a great Czech animator whose 1985 film, The Pied Piper, is an extraordinary, hour-long re-telling of the familiar fable. In Barta’s version, the medieval town and its inhabitants are rendered as beautifully-carved, Expressionist wood figures, and Barta twists the story in a darker direction by having the Pied Piper turn the materialistic townspeople into rats.
His current project is a film based on the old Prague legend of the Golem, taking Gustav Meyrinck’s classic novel as its inspiration. Since the collapse of the Communist regimes, Barta and other independent filmmakers have struggled to find financing for their more personal projects, which means that The Golem—which looks quite incredible—remains unfinished. This is especially ironic given that Prague is now a major movie-making centre for big Hollywood productions.
Kinoeye talks to Barta about The Golem and his other films, while Darkstrider has a trailer and clips from many other Czech animations.
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