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A Star from the Start: Early Jiří Trnka Shorts

Trnka’s early shorts work quickly established him as a master filmmaker. This program includes The Animals and the Brigands (1946), Springman and the SS (1946), The Gift (1946), Romance with Double Bass (1949), Song of the Prairie (1949), Merry Circus (1951), and The Two Frosts (1954).

Films in this Program

The Animals and the Brigands

Directed by Jiří Trnka

A rooster, a cat, and a goat meet a trio of ignoble characters deep in a night-shrouded forest in this

Springman and the SS

Directed by Jiří Trnka, Jiří Brdečka

Trnka combines 2D and collage animation to striking effect in this zanily offbeat, anti-Nazi lampoon, which crosses Max Fleischer-like absurdism

The Gift

Directed by Jiří Trnka, Jiří Krejčík

Trnka reached new heights of modernist abstraction with this innovative, surrealist mini-masterwork, which critic Jean-Pierre Coursodon likened to the Citizen

Romance with Double Bass

Directed by Jiří Trnka

This dreamily beautiful puppet work adapts a short story by Chekhov into a magical, moonlit reverie about a musician, a

Song of the Prairie

Directed by Jiří Trnka

One of Trnka’s most delightfully silly efforts is a slapstick spoof of John Ford’s Stagecoach and Hollywood singing cowboy Westerns

Merry Circus

Directed by Jiří Trnka

Trnka brings to life a surrealist circus of tightrope-walking fish, musical monkeys, balancing bears, and high-flying acrobatics in this whimsical

The Two Frosts

Directed by Jiří Trnka

Two mischievous frost spirits—voiced by famed comedian Vlasta Burian and author, popular actor, and satirist Jan Werich—make things chilly for

Genres: Animation