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IN AND OUT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK NEW WAVE
Starting August 2, 2019
THE CREMATOR (Spalovač mrtvol, 1969)
Spalovač mrtvol, 1969, 95min, Czechoslovakia
new digital restoration, Janus Films release
Czech with English subtitles
with Rudolf Hrušínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová, Miloš Vognič
A rising political death cult entangles with personal morbidity in Juraj Herz’s deeply disturbing black comic parable: The Cremator is set in 1930s Prague, where Nazi ideology hangs as thick as the charnel fumes over the crematorium run by the troubled Karel Kopfrkingl (Rudolf Hrušínský, in a skin-crawling performance.) Adapting a Ladislav Fuks novel and utilizing the estimable talents of cinematographer Stanislav Milota, Herz connects the Czechoslovak New Wave groundswell to the legacy of German Expressionism in this macabre and harrowing work of psychological and social breakdown, banned after its 1969 debut only to re-emerge and garner deserved praise as a masterwork twenty years later after the crumbling of the Czechoslovak communist system. A Janus Films release.
New digital restoration undertaken by Karlovy Vary IFF, UPP and Soundsquare in collaboration with the National Film Archive and the State Film Fund. Made possible by a generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Kučera.
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