MARKETA LAZAROVA

By : Frantisek Vlacil

With : Josef Kemr, Magda Vásáryová, Nada Hejna
Rep. Tchèque, 1967, PAL, scope - 164 min
zone 2, Noir & Blanc, mono
13.00 €


MARKETA LAZAROVA

Directed by : Frantisek Vlacil

With : Josef Kemr, Magda Vásáryová, Nada Hejna
czechoslovaquia, 1967, PAL, scope - 164 min
DVD 9, zone 2, black and white, mono

Original Czech version, with French subtitles

A minor Czech clan falls afoul of the King in medieval times, against the backdrop of Christianity replacing Paganism. Mikolas and his brother Adam rob travelers for their tyrannical father Kozlik. During one of their "mission", they end up with a young German hostage whose father escapes to spreed the word about the kidnapping and the robbery of the King. Kozlik prepares himself for the wrath of the King, and sends Mikolas to pressure his neighbor Lazar to join him in war. Persuasion fails, and in vengeance Mikolas abducts Lazar's daughter Marketa, just as she was about to join a convent. The King, meantime, dispatches an army and the religious Lazar will be called upon to join hands against Kozlik. Stripped-down, surreal, and relentlessly grimy account of the shift from Paganism to Christianity.

A near-unanimous selection as the greatest Czech film of all time in a 1998 survey of 100 Czech critics and film professionals, František Vlácil’s monumental MARKETA LAZAROZA is a “crazed musk ox of a movie, a nightmare epic of warring medieval tribes... the most convincing film about the Middle Ages made anywhere” (Michael Atkinson, VILLAGE VOICE). Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL meets Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI in a sprawling, visually dazzling, brutally realistic portrait of 13th-century Europe at the crossroads of paganism and Christianity. The striking Slovak actress Magda Vášáryová (a candidate for the Slovak presidency in 1999) is playing Markéta's character. Based on a novel by Vladislav Vancura, the film abounds in haunting, hallucinatory animal imagery that evokes a profoundly predatory and alien world. The production was painstakingly prepared by Vlácil, who insisted on absolute historical authenticity in the costumes, props and sets ; he also secluded cast and crew away for an extended stay in the Šumava forest in order to immerse them, physically and psychologically, in the harsh conditions they would be portraying. “Primitive and brutish... rich and evocative... a powerful and fascinating film unique in the history of Czechoslovak cinema”.

Bonus : chaptering - master restored – new subtitles
Booklet 24 pages, in French : complete chaptering / "The Czech Film: Literature and Cinema”, by Zdena Skapova (extract) / "A Czech Saga" by Albert Cervoni / Interview of Frantisek Vlacil by A. Liehm / “Art of the Novel in Vladislav Vancura’s work” by Daniela Hodrova.



Watch a video excerpt :

Marketa Lazarova
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