Monday, 19 October 2009


These are stills from Czech animator Jiří Barta's extraordinary adaptation of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Krysař (1985). The attention to detail in the figures and the expressionist set design (slightly reminiscent of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari) is incredible, both were largely carved out of wood, and considering that the film is over 5o minutes in length, it's quite remarkable that it was completed at all - indeed, Barta has had trouble obtaining funding in recent years (you can see a preview of his current project here). Real rats - both live and dead - were used in the film, and there's a rather grotesque twist in the tale which diverges from earlier versions; I'd say it's not for children, but I would have loved to have seen stuff like this when I was a kid.

More info here, here and here. Available on the Jiří Barta: Labyrinth of Darkness DVD.

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