Close Up

27 - 28 December 2018: Take Two: Karel Zeman


Often described as the Czech Méliès, visionary filmmaker Karel Zeman is treasured by generations of filmmakers worldwide, from Jan Švankmajer to Tim Burton, the Quay Brothers to Terry Gilliam, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Wes Anderson. His ground-breaking innovations in the use of live-action and animation mark him as one of the great masters of 20th Century fantasy cinema, ranking alongside his more celebrated Western counterparts Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen.

Invention for Destruction
Karel Zeman
1958 | 82 min | B/W | Digital
Czech with English subtitles

Invention for Destruction, based on the writings of Jules Verne, is Zeman’s most beloved work and is still the most commercially successful Czech film ever produced. Wildly inventive, and breaking new ground in its combination of live-action, animation and design, creating a "steampunk" aesthetic decades ahead of its time. Zeman's film is both a heartfelt homage and love letter to Jules Verne's wonderful tales of science and adventure, and a valiant cry against man's propensity for self-destruction. read more

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
Karel Zeman
1961 | 85 min | Colour | Digital
Czech with English subtitles

Zeman’s wildly inventive and comic take on the surreal adventures of the bragging Baron explodes on to the screen in a riot of colour, visual wit and poetic verve. A celebration of human imagination, The Fabulous Baron Munchausen has become widely recognised as a classic – a timeless work that continues to astonish. read more