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The Emperor’s Nightingale

(Císaruv slavík)

35mm Archival Print
Recommended for ages 6 & up

A young, shut-away Chinese emperor becomes enraptured by a nightingale’s song—and then by its mechanical reproduction—in Trnka’s magical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. A baroque music box brought to life, The Emperor’s Nightingale is stop-motion at its most lavish, featuring some of Trnka’s greatest designs: refined porcelain figurines bedecked in ornate costumes, a court setting overflowing with gorgeous fabrics, and intricate lattice work. Just as memorable as its shining beauty is the film’s plea to enjoy the natural world and to break away from prisons both mechanical and emotional. The legendary Czech Surrealist writer Vítězslav Nezval collaborated on the screenplay.

Jason Sanders
FILM DETAILS 
Screenwriter
  • Jiří Trnka
  • Jiří Brdecka
  • Vítězslav Nezval
Based On
  • The story by Hans Christian Andersen

Cinematographer
  • Ferdinand Pecenka
Language
  • No dialogue
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 72 mins
Source
  • Czech National Film Archive
Preceded By

Why UNESCO?
(Proč UNESCO?)

Jiří Trnka, Czechoslovakia, 1958

Commissioned by UNESCO, this elegantly bare-bones short embraces human universality beyond borders and walls.

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Czech
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 10 mins
source
  • Czech National Film Archive