60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Superb Second Run release. Do not miss this opportunity,
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This review is from: Marketa Lazarová  [DVD] (DVD)
Frantisek Vlacil directed "Marketa Lazarova" in 1967 during a two year shoot and was adapted from the avant-garde novel by author and 1930's film director Vladislav Vancura. Set in the 13th century it is a tale of to warring clans and the eventual doomed love of Marketa and Mikolas which leads one to draw comparisons to Shakespear's "Romeo and Juliet" although markedly more barbaric and superstitious. Vlacil is not interested telling a linear story which can make it difficult to follow at times but it is also his use of dialogue or the lack thereof which gives this film an hallucinatory quality. Vlacil's real emphasis is on the poetic image to create his narrative and is what really makes this an astounding work of art and brings to mind the work of other director's like Tarkovsky (Andrei Roublev,1966); Dreyer (Passion of Joan of Arc, 1928); Kurosawa (Seven Samurai, 1954), Bergman (The Seventh Seal,1957) and Eisenstein (Ivan the Terrible,1944). "Marketa Lazarova" also incorporates elements of soviet montage with the use of animals in several sequences as metaphor. The score by Zdenek Liska who is known for his work with Jan Svankmajer is amazing, incorporating medieval church music and making "Marketa Lazarova" an operatic masterpiece.
I am now lead to believe upon viewing this film that this is truly one of the great neglected works of of Czech cinema as it is rarely shown outside of Eastern Europe. All that has been set right now by Second Run releasing it on DVD format (Well done guys, we want more!). The transfer is excellent with high contrast and a great clean soundtrack. There are no extras aside from the informative booklet but that is no cause for complaint.
Do not miss this opportunity to own a copy of this amazing film. A must for all film buffs.