Zeman, Karel

Zeman, Karel

 

Born Nov. 3, 1910, in Ostromerz. Czechoslovak film director. Honored Artist of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1960).

Zeman completed a course of study as an advertising graphic artist. In 1945 he made his debut as a director with the film Christmas Dream. From 1947 to 1959 he released a series of short films about Pan (Mister) Prokouk (jPan ProkoukAdministrator, Pan Prokouk Shoots a Film, and others). Zeman’s full-length films that have brought him international recognition include Journey Into a Primitive Era (1955), Ruinous Invention (1958, based on a work by J. Verne; Soviet title, The Mystery of the Island of Bek-Kap), and Baron Prashil (1961, based on G. A. Bürger’s Münchausen’, Soviet title, Baron Münchhausen). He also directed such films as Inspiration (1949), Jesters Chronicle (1964; Soviet title, Two Musketeers), and Two-year Vacation (1967, based on a work by J. Verne; Soviet title, Stolen Dirigible)- Zeman is one of the most outstanding figures in Czechoslovak film. It is characteristic of him to search for the new stylistic devices and special effects in his animated cartoons and live-action films, for example, the use of glass puppets and the combination of live actors and three-dimensional animation. Zeman received the K. Gottwald State Prize (1957, 1959), as well as the Peace Prize for achievement in cinematic art (1959). Many of his films have been awarded prizes at international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Karlovy Vary, and elsewhere.

V. I. MIKHALKOVICH

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