The Puppet Master: The Complete Jiří Trnka

Lightbox Film Center presents the US’s first complete retrospective of the works of Czech animation master Jiří Trnka (1912-1969), which premiered earlier this year at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.

With 18 short and six feature-length animated films, Trnka was rivaled only by Walt Disney Studios in output.

Revered as the pioneer of a remarkable new genre of animation that utilized puppets, Trnka conveyed the drama and psychology of his characters through his figures’ body language, expressive lighting, and camera movement. A prolific artist, beloved book illustrator, and author before making his first movie, Trnka had enormous impact on the development of animation in his country, and inspired an entire generation of filmmakers around the globe. This essential series includes two new digital restorations premiering in the US on this tour, and 11 newly translated works directed by Trnka.

Program notes by Andy Lauer (courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center) and Irena Kovarova.

The touring retrospective The Puppet Master: The Complete Jiří Trnka is produced by Comeback Company, and originated at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Curated by Irena Kovarova. Films provided by the Czech National Film Archive.


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