Golem by Jiri Barta.
There are always more golems. Among recent reading I’ve been catching up with the works of Michael Chabon, and have just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), a novel concerned with several things that obsessed me when I was 13, namely Harry Houdini, conjuring tricks and the Empire State Building. Chabon even acknowledges JC Cannell’s The Secrets of Houdini, a book I re-read many times trying in vain to learn some of Houdini’s card tricks. What didn’t obsess me at that age happens to be the main subject of the novel: superhero comics. Chabon does a good job of communicating the enthusiasm that powered the early days of the American comics industry, however, and I can appreciate the enthusiasm that history generates for him even if I don’t quite share it. Lurking at the back of his story is the mute and symbolic figure of Rabbi Loew’s Golem of Prague, mention of which prompted me to see whether Czech animator Jiri Barta had managed to complete his film of the Golem story, a project which has been stalled since the 1990s. He hasn’t, unfortunately, but there is a trailer which I hadn’t seen before, a sight that makes the prospect even more tantalising. Someone give this man some money to finish his film.
Elsewhere, there’s Emet by Bonsaininja Studio, Milan, a short steampunk take on the Golem creation story. Great use of CGI and digital animation but I’d still prefer to see Barta’s version. Meanwhile, the whole of Paul Wegener’s The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920) is now on YouTube. If you’ve never seen Wegener stomping around medieval Prague with his shopping basket then here’s your chance.
• Golem: The Recipe For Life by Michael Chabon