15 / BD 9 The Cremator

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Skritek
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:59 am
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#51 Post by Skritek » Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:11 pm

I'd also recommend "Intimate Lighting". It's rather minimal filmmaking, unlike many Czech and Slovak films from the time.

As for Juraj Herz, his "Petrolejove lampy" is loved by many (I wasn't as enchanted, but I'll rewatch it someday), also "Morgiana" is supposed to be very good (but more style than substance). These two are more or less similar in style to the Cremator.
Then there is "Panna a netvor", a naturalistic take on the Beauty and the Beast. It's good, the beginning is very creepy, nice to see a fairy-tale treated differently, but not entirely successfull. (don't know about subs though)
Upír z Feratu has an original idea (a blood sucking car), but is largely mediocre. (I've only seen it on Swiss or German TV once, so no subs also)
Sladke starosti (available on a subtitled Slovak DVD) is a solid comedy, but too 80s for me. I'd still recommend checking it out to see how different it is from his earlier work.
His short Sberne surovosti for Pearls of the Deep I've heard is great, it's been lying on my table for a while, but I haven't watched it yet. (the Czech DVD again has no subtitles)

That's all I've seen of his (well...also one TV series), hope I could help.

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MichaelB
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#52 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:26 pm

FSimeoni wrote:I saw and loved this film last night. I'd be interested in seeing more Herz, but I don't think much is available? This is the first Czech film I have seen (apart from Svankmajer and Trnka) what's a good next step?
I think the only other Herz film that's available with English subtitles is his 1978 version of Beauty and the Beast (Panna a netvor), which I haven't seen.

As for easily available recommendations, I absolutely second Intimate Lighting and Marketa Lazarová (I've linked to my reviews), and to those I'd add The Party and the Guests in Second Run's catalogue.

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Awesome Welles
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:02 am
Location: London

#53 Post by Awesome Welles » Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:37 pm

Thanks for the recomendations everyone. I think I'll be sticking with Second Run for the moment until more (easy to find) quality discs are on the horizon.

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Scharphedin2
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 7:37 am
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#54 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:41 pm

Skritek wrote:His short Sberne surovosti for Pearls of the Deep I've heard is great, it's been lying on my table for a while, but I haven't watched it yet. (the Czech DVD again has no subtitles)
Skritek, I am certain this short is not included in the Facets release Pearls of the Deep. Was this short included in domestic releases of the film?

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MichaelB
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#55 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:04 pm

Scharphedin2 wrote:Skritek, I am certain this short is not included in the Facets release Pearls of the Deep. Was this short included in domestic releases of the film?
It's on the Czech DVD, not the Facets - and it doesn't have subtitles.

Pearls of the Deep was originally planned as an anthology of seven shorts, but this proved too long - so the longest (the Herz) and arguably the best (Ivan Passer's delicious A Boring Afternoon, also included on the Czech DVD) were released separately.

The Facets disc only has the five shorts making up the feature, though it's the only English-subtitled release available (though the subtitles are truly ghastly: ugly, inadequately translated and out of sync).

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Skritek
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#56 Post by Skritek » Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:36 pm

I wouldn't call A Boring Afternoon the best though (it is however rather similar in tone to his feature length debut, that is also very likeable), I think Menzel's is better and Schorm's about the same. But yes, they are only available on the Czech DVD.

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thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

#57 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:28 am

FSimeoni wrote:I saw and loved this film last night. I'd be interested in seeing more Herz, but I don't think much is available? This is the first Czech film I have seen (apart from Svankmajer and Trnka) what's a good next step?
I'd recommend The Party and the Guests and The Ear also; both available from Second Run.

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#58 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:49 pm

How extensive is Bird's essay on Herz? I'm looking for material on him. Does it cover his other films in detail?

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jbeall
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:22 am
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#59 Post by jbeall » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:28 am

Got this out of my kevyip after quite some time (and just before Halloween, too!). What a creepy, disturbing film! I can only add to the chorus praising Liška's score--I was riveted (especially during the climactic scenes). Hrušinsky is also pitch-perfect, IMHO, as Kopfrkingl, which a economical-but-assured manner. This makes his almost frenetic behavior at the very end all the more startling.

Fantastic release. Tomorrow, Morgiana!

admira
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#60 Post by admira » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:35 am

There is an update. Version from Dark Sky Label was added just recently.

DVD freak

Bikey
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

Re: 15 The Cremator

#61 Post by Bikey » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:10 am

Screening 11 November at Riverside Studios as part of the Made in Prague: Film and Literature Festival
+ DIRECTOR JURAJ HERZ WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE FOR A Q&A SESSION FOLLOWING THE FILM!

Bikey
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

Re: 15 The Cremator

#62 Post by Bikey » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:29 am

Reminder for those in London: THE CREMATOR Screening - 8.30pm, Friday 11 November at Riverside Studios as part of the Made in Prague: Film and Literature Festival
+ DIRECTOR JURAJ HERZ WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE FOR A Q&A SESSION FOLLOWING THE FILM!

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htshell
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:15 pm

Re: 15 The Cremator

#63 Post by htshell » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:23 pm

Wow, that rules! Wish I were there. I would love to know what happened to Jana Stenová who was in this film and a couple by Jakubisko, but nothing else. Please report back if this topic comes up!

Ged Parsons
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:43 pm
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#64 Post by Ged Parsons » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:11 pm

Sadly, I couldn't make the screening at Riverside Studios, but on the previous evening, Thursday 10th., I was at the Prince Charles Cinema, Soho, London, for the pretty well-attended UK premiere of Herz's 'Habermann' - a joint screening of the Czech Centre's 15th London Czech Film Festival, and the UK Jewish Film Festival. Very interesting, thought-provoking stuff, (though it's by no means a second 'Cremator'), on a less well-known aspect of WWII - the complex and ever-shifting Czech/German relationships in the Sudetenland.

Juraj Herz was in attendance(!), and made a brief introduction - and after the film, he took the stage for about 45 minutes of fascinating Q and A, under the auspices of Peter Hames. Mr Herz shared some astounding personal anecdotes, including his being briefly 'evacuated' as a child to a German village where everyone knew he was Jewish, and him still being able to play happily in the streets - to the time he managed to survive a period of internment at one Nazi concentration camp, simply because they ran out of supplies of poison gas.

He commented that he'd stopped reading what critics wrote about his work, '... because every time I read what they said about my film, I found myself reading about a film I hadn't made.'

And he finished up by describing a couple of vivid scenes he would like to include in his proposed (auto-biographical?) black-comedy about a 10-year-old boy's view of life in a concentration camp (which he likened to a less-fantastical version of 'Life is Beautiful').

I was lucky enough to meet him afterwards for a brief chat, a photo, and a signing of a few DVD sleeves and booklets. Great evening, and a fascinating, funny and extraordinary man.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#65 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:44 am

There's a new special edition in Germany boasting improved image, commentary and interview. It seems available only with German subs but am curious as to what the extras are. Anyone in the area can comment? This and the recent Red and White Hungarian disc with extensive extras (all with eng subs) makes me wonder whether SR have the wherewithall to revisit some of the older releases for an upgrade. The Cremator was always a bit lacklustre even compared to the old Czech release. Then there's the Ford of course about which less said the better.
http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B005O3X ... 921_snp_dp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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James43
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:10 am
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#66 Post by James43 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:52 pm

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:There's a new special edition in Germany boasting improved image, commentary and interview. It seems available only with German subs but am curious as to what the extras are. Anyone in the area can comment? This and the recent Red and White Hungarian disc with extensive extras (all with eng subs) makes me wonder whether SR have the wherewithall to revisit some of the older releases for an upgrade. The Cremator was always a bit lacklustre even compared to the old Czech release. Then there's the Ford of course about which less said the better.
http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B005O3X ... 921_snp_dp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Extras contain an audio commentary with Herz which is subtitled in German and quite rich with anecdotes as well as an interview with him (10 minutes) in which he talks about his career afterwards. Moreover, there is a location tour (30 minutes) to the crematories in which the film was shot. The booklet includes an essay and a printed interview with Herz. All in all, quite enlightening on the director and his œuvre. Video transfer has stronger blacks in comparison to the SR-Edition (which I love nevertheless).

Bikey
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

Re: 15 The Cremator

#67 Post by Bikey » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:47 am

"From the opening seconds I fell under the spell of this curious mantra of death. There's too much to recommend: the brilliant detail and delirious wide angles of Stanislav Milota's cinematography, Zdeněk Liška's choral reveries, the brutal collage of the opening credits, Jaromir Janacek's wonderfully disconcerting editing and of course, Rudolf Hrušínský in elated form as the errant and suspiciously health-conscious Mr. Kopfrkingl, the titular Cremator. Both ludicrous and malevolent, The Cremator is an irresistibly septic meditation on death and the hideous lure of fascism. I've never seen a film display such morbid euphoria"
Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio, Duke of Burgundy) on Herz's THE CREMATOR, screening Tuesday 24th, 8pm at Close Up Film Centre

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theflirtydozen
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#68 Post by theflirtydozen » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:29 pm

What appears to be a new edition (maybe translation?) of The Cremator novel is set to be released Oct 15 of this year. Amazon link

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What A Disgrace
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#69 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:13 am

Blu-ray available November 22. Second Run's fourth Blu-ray in a row, and first Blu-ray upgrade. Specs...

• The Cremator (Spalova mrtvol, 1968) presented from a new HD transfer from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive
• Filmed introduction by the Quay Brothers
• Audio Commentary by writer and film historian Kat Ellinger
• Juraj Herz s short film The Junk Shop (Sb rné surovosti, 1965)
• The Projection Booth podcast with Mike White and Samm Deighan
• Booklet with an essay on Herz and the film by writer/producer Daniel Bird
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• Original soundtrack in Dual Mono 24-bit LPCM audio
• World Premiere on Blu-ray
• ...AND MORE

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rapta
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:04 pm
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#70 Post by rapta » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:43 am

Nice! Glad to see they're doing some upgrades. I wonder if Ikarie XB-1 is next (I've held off the DVD a couple of times just in case).

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denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#71 Post by denti alligator » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:28 pm

Yes! Time to toss my non-anamorphic Czech DVD.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#72 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:51 pm

I say they should focus on earlier titles for upgrades, especially since their worst looking DVDs tend to be among the older ones. The Red and the White being top priority.

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: 15 The Cremator

#73 Post by Calvin » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:28 pm

Fabulous news! Probably my favourite film in Second Run's whole catalog, so I am very, very excited

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Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#74 Post by Finch » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:49 pm

Obviously bikey and co are reliant on the films being restored etc but I hope this sells like hotcakes so that this is not the last BD upgrade from their DVD titles. I'll be ordering a copy as well.

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: 15 The Cremator

#75 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:22 pm

Kat Ellinger commentary - YES! I just listened to The Projection Booth podcast two weeks ago and it was quite good. Nice to see it on there. Between that short film and the Daniel Bird essay this looks like a definitive release.

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