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Marketa Lazarová - Wellington Film Society

Marketa Lazarová - Wellington Film Society

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  • Mon 13 Jun ’16, 6:15pm – 8:55pm


The Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place, Wellington



Ticket Information:

  • Members free: $0.00
  • 12-month membership: $95.00

Marketa Lazarová
(Frantisek Vlacil, Czechoslovakia, 1967) 162 minutes

Upon its release in 1966, Variety declared Marketa Lazarová - with its three-hour length, elliptical, dream-like narrative, and totally foreign flavour – ‘a stunning work… unsuitable for general commercial release.’ Now recognized as an epic Gothic tale, this monumental Czech masterpiece is a film whose audience has finally caught up with it. Set in the remote forests of Bohemia in the 13th century, the complex plot is woven around the abduction and brutal rape of Marketa Lazarová, a clan leader's angelic, convent-bound daughter, by a fierce pagan warrior. Forgoing the temptation to reduce the story to a simple highwayman adventure, filmmaker Frantisek Vlácil – known for his poetic lyricism – revives the age in all its stark details, penetrating into the hearts and minds of his ancestors, into the world of Gothic man. In the process, he employs haunting photography and searing religious imagery to give the story the emotion of an atavistic nightmare, a cinematic poem difficult to categorize in terms of genre or form. As a metaphor for the clash between the old and the new, the declining pagan world as it succumbed to the rise of Christianity, the film also presages the changes that would sweep modern-day Czechoslovakia at the dusk of socialism. This rarely seen work – six years in the making – evokes Kurosawa or Mizoguchi: intense, poetic and devastatingly cinematic. - Judy Bloch, San Francisco International Film Festival 2013.

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