Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Visual Diary: A Czechoslovakian Feudal Drama

By Olivia Maria Hărşan

František Vláčil's 'Marketa Lazarová' (1967) 

Throughout the 1960's in Europe there seemed to be a boom in medieval dramas. Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1960) is at the forefront of this group of films, because of its ability to squeeze into various genres from Christianity, paganism and the occult to rape-revenge. Another film that comes to mind is Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev (1966) - a realist portrait of 15th century Russia.  But the images below derive from the Czech film Marketa Lazarová. Most cinephiles recognize the works of Tarkovsky and Bergman, but František Vláčil is not so well known, which is unfortunate because his films are extraordinary - there's just something eerie about Bohemian history that keeps audiences captivated.