1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Message
Author
User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#26 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:05 pm

That’s Zeman for you. I would have said the same thing if I saw them in the reverse order.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#27 Post by knives » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:18 pm

He is really fantastic and it's nice to now be able to explore his feature work after loving his shorts for so many years.

User avatar
YnEoS
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:30 am

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#28 Post by YnEoS » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:38 pm

I actually really like Invention for Destruction's black and white aesthetic and think it has its own unique feel within his filmography. Of course The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is great and probably my favorite of his films, but it doesn't supplant all the good things I like about Invention for Destruction.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#29 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:56 pm

Nor should it, but when I think of the broad claim "the full possibilities of what film has to offer" directed at this, from someone who hasn't seen Baron Munchausen, that's the direction I'll point. I definitely had a personal bias in seeing his best film first, so it was tougher to focus on the unique strengths of the others (and some of his other works I flat out hate like On the Comet, possibly as a result of widening my scope towards worse Zeman over time) though Invention for Destruction is by far the second-best I've seen.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#30 Post by knives » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:34 am

To be fair to me you dropped the gets at part of my quote.

User avatar
YnEoS
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:30 am

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#31 Post by YnEoS » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:06 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:56 pm
Nor should it, but when I think of the broad claim "the full possibilities of what film has to offer" directed at this, from someone who hasn't seen Baron Munchausen, that's the direction I'll point. I definitely had a personal bias in seeing his best film first, so it was tougher to focus on the unique strengths of the others (and some of his other works I flat out hate like On the Comet, possibly as a result of widening my scope towards worse Zeman over time) though Invention for Destruction is by far the second-best I've seen.
I'm not too enthusiastic about labeling them in terms of best and second best, in cases where they're doing different things and its not a simple example of one film improving on what the past one was doing. (I realize you're probably not arguing for any kind of hard ranking, and probably just expressing vague levels of appreciation. I just felt like expanding on some of my thoughts.)

For me part of my appreciation of Invention for Destruction is its restrictiveness, its got the most cohesive aesthetic, even going as far as to adding lines through footage of real water to make it match the quality of the sets. It also has less fantasy elements and feels like the world is built around a consistent set of principles.

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen shows off more techniques, and is more imaginative in a lot of ways, but it also creates less of a cohesive world for it. This is of course suitable for the Muchhausen story, and it should feel like someone telling you a fantastic story trying to impress you in all different ways at any given opportunity. Its just that because it has a different aim, it necessarily doesn't achieve all the things that Invention for Destruction was doing.

I'm quite fond of The Fabulous Baron Munchausen, and it was the first time I was exposed to Karel Zeman as well, back when I was just interested in finding all the Munchausen adaptations and had no idea who Karel Zeman was. But as I've spent more time with his films over the years, the more I find myself drawn to revisiting Invention for Destruction specifically for certain things it achieves that his other films don't. This has been a bit more of a recent interest of mine, finding films that most successfully create their own filmic world with its own complete feel, and I think Invention for Destruction is one of the best filmic worlds I've enjoyed sitting in for a while.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#32 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:10 pm

knives wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:34 am
To be fair to me you dropped the gets at part of my quote.
I don't see how anyone was being "unfair" to you though- I wasn't being pejorative when I cited your statement as "broad," and adding "gets at" wouldn't change that.. I understand that tones don't translate well across type, but I was utterly enthusiastic when you made that declaration (because you're right) and was eagerly pointing you in the direction of what I understand to be Zeman "getting at the full possibilities of what film has to offer" even more. I also mentioned that if I had seen the films in a reverse order I would have made the same claim, so I don't get the problem.. Doesn't matter, I agree with you that Invention of Destruction gets at those possibilities, and I hope you enjoy Baron Munchausen at least as much.
YnEoS wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:06 am
I'm not too enthusiastic about labeling them in terms of best and second best, in cases where they're doing different things and its not a simple example of one film improving on what the past one was doing. (I realize you're probably not arguing for any kind of hard ranking, and probably just expressing vague levels of appreciation. I just felt like expanding on some of my thoughts.)
Yeah, I was honestly just trying to be transparent that my order of exposure desensitized me on a first watch to fully appreciating something 'new' after that flooding of technique and imagination, but your explanation of each film's unique strengths are interesting and I'm excited to revisit Invention of Destruction again with those in mind!

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#33 Post by knives » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:14 pm

I never said anyone was being unfair. I was just using a common idiomatic expression indicting the beginning of a self defense. Trust me, I was typing with a smile. So don't worry, you weren't being unfair and I should use more emoticons to convey tone 8-[ . This weather is unfair though. Boy, howdy.
Last edited by knives on Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#34 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:35 pm

Wait until after you've seen Baron Munchausen, but I seriously recommend Film Adventurer Karel Zeman, especially for the section in which a load of Czech film students are charged with recreating certain Zeman shots, the catch being that they're only allowed to use the technology that was available to Zeman at the time. Quite aside from its other huge merits, it's incredibly educational.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#35 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:57 pm

knives wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:14 pm
This weather is unfair though. Boy, howdy.
It sure is, a good (or bad) day to watch Do the Right Thing

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#36 Post by knives » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:02 pm

It's always a good day for that.

User avatar
TheKieslowskiHaze
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:37 am

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#37 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:52 pm

My 3-year old daughter picked this out for me as a birthday gift, solely on the basis on the cover (she likes sharks and dinosaurs). Having never seen these movies, I've been going through the set with her. What a delight.

My favorite so far is Invention for Destruction. She really liked Journey to the Beginning of Time. She talked through the whole thing. Constantly asking questions and yelling at the kids. I liked it too, more as a curiosity than as a great movie.

Her favorite so far is the short, A Christmas Dream. She's watched it twice.

I look forward to Baron Munchausen, which I've heard is the best of the group.

Revelator
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:33 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#38 Post by Revelator » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:12 pm

Are there any good books and/or articles on Zeman aside from the essays included with the recent Criterion/Second Run Blu-Rays? I'd like to read in depth about him and his films but there doesn't seem to be very much in English.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#39 Post by knives » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:34 pm

His daughter, an accomplished artist herself, has written a few things if that perspective sounds interesting.

Revelator
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:33 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#40 Post by Revelator » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:38 pm

knives wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:34 pm
His daughter, an accomplished artist herself, has written a few things if that perspective sounds interesting.
If any English translations are available I'd certainly like to read them. Zeman's daughter is a regular presence in the old DVD extras and the newer Blu-Ray ones--she's done a lot to keep her father's work in circulation.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 1015-1017 Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

#41 Post by knives » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:46 pm

I think they’re mostly originally in English. She’s a Canadian citizen. I’ll try to see if I can find anything else by her when I’ve got a moment.

Post Reply