Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sen noci svatojánské / A Midnight Summer's Dream

Kesäyön unelma / En midsommarnattsdröm. CZ 1959. PC: Československý Film. P+D+SC: Jiří Trnka – based on the romantic fairy-tale comedy (1596) by William Shakespeare. Co-SC: Jiří Brdečka. AN: Jan Karpaš, Stanislav Látal, Vlasta Jurajdová, Břetislav Pojar, Jan Adam, Bohumil Šrámek. DP: Jiří Vojta – Eastmancolor, scope. Design: Jiří Trnka. M: Václav Trojan. ED: Hana Walachová. S: Emanuel Formánek, Josef Vlček, Emil Poledník. Czech version with a commentary in Czech. 80 min. Print from Národní filmový archiv (Prague), electronic subtitles in Finnish by Tomas Lehecka. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Jiří Trnka), 28 Oct 2012.

Shakespeare's cast of characters (from Wikipedia):

The Athenians
Theseus – Duke of Athens
Hippolyta – Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus
Philostrate – Master of the Revels
Egeus – father of Hermia, wants her to marry Demetrius
Hermia – in love with Lysander
Helena – in love with Demetrius
Lysander – in love with Hermia
Demetrius – in love with Hermia at first but later loves Helena

The Fairies
Oberon – Titania's husband and King of the Fairies
Titania – Oberon's wife and Queen of the Fairies
Robin Goodfellow/Puck – servant to Oberon
Peaseblossom – fairy servant to Titania
Cobweb – fairy servant to Titania
Moth – fairy servant to Titania
Mustardseed – fairy servant to Titania
First Fairy, Second Fairy

The Mechanicals (An acting troupe)
Peter Quince – carpenter, leads the troupe and plays Prologue
Nick Bottom – weaver, plays Pyramus
Francis Flute – bellows-mender, plays Thisbe
Robin Starveling – tailor, plays Moonshine
Tom Snout – tinker, plays Wall
Snug – joiner, plays Lion

The number of characters in William Shakespeare's romantic fairy-tale comedy can seem intimidating, and in the beginning one must pay a lot of attention as many new characters are quickly passing by. Among the Athenians true love must find its way through arranged marriage plans. The escape to the midnight forest exposes everybody to the fairies and their formidable love potions. To the wedding a performance of a troupe of amateur players has been promised, and the troupe, too, gets involved in the goings-on in the magic forest. Everything gets mixed up, but in the end there will be three happy weddings.

There is a consistent droll and enchanted mood in this puppet animation adaptation of the play. Charming features include: - The stars and the star signs - Funny paintings about love and sculptures of battles - The enchantment in Oberon's kingdom - The transformations - The funny effects of the love potion: even statues start to make love - The donkey trick to Titania - Official ceremonies bore everyone to death - The full moon smiles approvingly.

In this adaptation Puck says in his final words that "there is a lot in our dreams that will live forever".

The colour is beautiful in this print.

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