The Puppet Master: The Films of Jiří Trnka

December 1–19, 2018

A selection of enchanting stop-motion films by a Czech puppeteer with the heart of a poet.

Read full description
  • The Good Soldier Švejk

  • Film still: Puppet of a female figure appearing to prepare to throw a javelin.

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

  • The Emperor's Nightingale

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • The Emperor’s Nightingale

    Jiří Trnka
    Czechoslovakia, 1948

    35mm Archival Print
    Recommended for ages 6 & up

    • Saturday, December 15 3:30 PM

    Trnka’s adaptation of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a young Chinese emperor enraptured by the song of a mechanical nightingale is awash in lavish storybook imagery. With short Why UNESCO?

    View Details
  • A Survey of Trnka’s Techniques


    • Wednesday, December 19 7 PM

    See the range of Trnka’s craftmanship and artistry, from early hand-drawn cartoons to surrealist interventions to the expressive beauty of his stop-motion beginnings. The program includes Romance with Double Bass, The Gift, Springman and the SS, and more. 

    View Details

Past Films

  • Film still: Puppet of a female figure appearing to prepare to throw a javelin.

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    • Sunday, December 9 2 PM
    Jiří Trnka
    Czechoslovakia, 1959

    35mm Archival Print
    Recommended for ages 12 & up

    This bewitching stop-motion adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic tale is a masterpiece of surpassing, balletic beauty that plays out amidst a garlanded, pastel dreamscape. With short The Devil’s Mill.

    Introduction by Jan Pinkava

  • Trnka’s Sixties Masterworks

    • Wednesday, December 5 7:00 PM

    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    A selection of Trnka’s 1960s masterpieces: politically defiant, visually innovative, surrealist, and satirical. Includes  Archangel Gabriel and Mistress Goose, based on a story from the Decameron, and Trnka’s last film, the great antiauthoritarian parable The Hand.

    Introduction by Jan Pinkava

  • The Good Soldier Švejk

    • Saturday, December 1 5:30 PM
    Jiří Trnka
    Czechoslovakia, 1954

    This riotous antiauthoritarian satire—a stop-motion adaptation of the famous Czech antiwar novel—follows a beer-loving, order-ignoring infantryman who “speaks truth to power” by simply repeating its idiocies. Screening with The Two Frosts.