Close Up

15 May 2019: The Cremator


The Cremator
Juraj Herz, 1968, 95 min
Czech with English subtitles

"(...) from the opening seconds I fell under the spell of this curious mantra of death. There's too much to recommend: the brilliant detail and delirious wide angles of Stanislav Milota's cinematography, Zdeněk Liška's choral reveries, the brutal collage of the opening credits, Jaromir Janacek's wonderfully disconcerting editing and of course, Rudolf Hrušínský in elated form as the errant and suspiciously health-conscious Mr. Kopfrkingl, the titular Cremator. Both ludicrous and malevolent, The Cremator is an irresistibly septic meditation on death and the hideous lure of fascism. I've never seen a film display such morbid euphoria." – Peter Strickland

Part of our season on the Czechoslovak New Wave