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Directed by Jiří Trnka

Czechoslovakia 1959 78 mins. In Czech

In this bewitching adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic fairy tale, the love lives of mortals and forest sprites mingle during one magical moonlit evening. In his final feature—also the first CinemaScope film made in Czechoslovakia—Trnka deploys the full force of his imagination and technical wizardry to evoke the story’s enchanted woodlands setting, a garlanded, pastel dreamscape awash in starry-night atmosphere, colorful festoons of flowers, and exquisitely wrought fantasy creatures. The graceful puppetry combined with the Václav Trojan score and voiceover work by members of the Royal Shakespeare Company yields a masterpiece of surpassing, balletic beauty. Trnka shot the film in two versions, CinemaScope and the classic format. The English language version 35mm print on this tour is of the classic format.