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Baron Prásil (1961)
A dour astronaut called Tony lands on the moon, and finds it inhabited
by the dreamers and moon-watchers of an earlier age, the lunar explorers
of Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon, Cyrano de Bergerac
and, of course, the boastful Baron. Munchausen persuades the space-suited
scientist to abandon his rocketship for a carriage pulled by flying
horses and the pair return to Earth and go through the Baron's famous
adventures escaping from the Turks, riding a cannonball, surviving in
the belly of a monster while Tony unbends and admits the importance
of whimsy. Coming to Karel Zeman's Munchausen after Terry Gilliam's
is strangely bewildering, in that the distinctive blend of animated
woodcuts, live action and paper cutouts pioneered by the Czech genius
was obviously a major influence on Gilliam's old Monty Python animations.
While the human players are required to be almost charmingly stiff to
blend in with the mainly painted backdrops, Zeman's world is both more
convincingly 18th Century and more convincingly alive than Gilliam's.
For the real romantics.
First Published In: City Limits, issue unknown
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