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THE COMPLETE JIŘÍ TRNKA
Starting April 20, 2018
THE EMPEROR’S NIGHTINGALE (Císařův slavík, 1948)
THE EMPEROR’S NIGHTINGALE
Císařův slavík, 1948, 72m, Czechoslovakia
directed by Jiří Trnka & Miloš Makovec
Trnka’s adaptation of a classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is an enchanting animated jewel box. Framed by live action sequences—about a lonely boy shut away from fun and play—the story unfolds as a child’s dream vision, a tale of illusion versus reality in which a Chinese emperor is ensorcelled first by the song of a nightingale, then by its mechanical replica. Working in a rich red, green, and gold visual palette, Trnka conjures a hallucinatory storybook world of moonlit bamboo forests, softly glowing Chinese lanterns, and bursting fireworks displays all set to a gorgeous, rhapsodic score by his key collaborator, Václav Trojan.
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