A Midsummer Night’s Dream
(Sen noci svatojánské)
35mm Archival Print
Recommended for ages 12 & up
Jan Pinkava is creative director of Google Spotlight Stories and an Academy Award–winning director; his career in animation spans a quarter century, including thirteen years at Pixar, where he wrote and directed the short film Geri’s Game and was the original creator of Ratatouille.
Shakespeare’s romantic fantasia meets its imaginative match in Trnka’s bejeweled stop-motion adaptation. Here, the filmmaker trades in his traditional wood sculptures to work with a smooth, pale plastic material that adds just the right level of otherworldly, delicate beauty. With figurines so refined they seem carved out of dreams (his Titania and Puck are especially wondrous), and several moments where Trnka pauses the story to simply revel in his imagery (such as when the camera lingers on Titania’s dress of forest creatures), A Midsummer Night’s Dream showcases both the director and the genre of animation at their highest peak.
The Devil's Mill
Jiří Trnka, Czechoslovakia, 1949
An organ grinder meets the devil himself in this ghostly fable, set on edge by a macabre soundtrack.