The Emperor’s Nightingale (Císařův slavík)
Sunday, September 23, 1 pm
Introduced by series curator Irena Kovarova
Trnka’s adaptation of a classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is an enchanting animated jewel box. Framed by live-action sequences—about a lonely boy shut away from fun and play—the story unfolds as a child’s dream vision, a tale of illusion versus reality, in which a Chinese emperor is ensorcelled first by the song of a nightingale, then by its mechanical replica. Working in a rich red, green, and gold visual palette, Trnka conjures a hallucinatory storybook world of moonlit bamboo forests, softly glowing Chinese lanterns, and bursting fireworks displays all set to a gorgeous, rhapsodic score by his key collaborator, Vaclav Trojan. Co-directed with Miloš Makovec. 1948, Czechoslovakia, 35mm, no dialogue, 72 minutes. Recommended for 8+.