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IN AND OUT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK NEW WAVE
Starting August 2, 2019
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Panna a netvor, 1978)
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Panna a netvor, 1978, 84min, Czechoslovakia/West Germany
Czech with English subtitles
with Zdena Studenková, Vlastimil Harapes, Václav Voska, Jana Brejchová
A tale you’ll know well—innocent girl presents herself as sacrifice to a cursed, freakish beast living in isolation, and learns to live with and love her captor—but turned into something very different in Herz’s morbid imagining. Reworking well-known source material for this dark, grimly atmospheric fable, Herz defamiliarizes it, imagining a beaked bird/snake/mammal hybrid Beast unlike any seen on screen before, and overlaying the proceedings with a heavy air of impending doom, the sense of real danger that’s missing from better-known versions, where the possibility of violence looms terribly near.
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