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Directed by Karel Zeman

Czech Republic 1958 84 mins.

Originally released in the United States in 1961, Zeman’s classic film is based on Jules Verne’s nineteenth-century tale of a professor kidnapped by a band of pirates who want to use his invention to take over the world. A dazzling blend of live action and cut-out and puppet animation, its series of set pieces grow more astounding scene by scene as we dive into Verne’s fabulous world of flying machines, submarines and mysterious creatures. With an eye-popping style based on engravings by Édouard Riou and Léon Bennett—illustrators of Verne’s novels—the film became a global phenomenon and remains the most popular Czech film in history. “[A] wonderful giddy science fantasy…sustains the Victorian tone, with its delight in the magic of science, that makes Verne seem so playfully archaic.”—Pauline Kael.

The digital restoration of the film Invention for Destruction is a part of the project “Restoring The World of Fantasy”. Project partners are The Czech Film Foundation, The Karel Zeman Museum and Czech Television in cooperation with Universal Production Partners with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and with support of The Minister of Culture of Czech Republic Mgr. Daniel Herman.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.