Saturday, May 06, 2017

Žhavý jícen / Hot Throat / Hot Gorge / The Fiery Gorge (The Nitrate Picture Show)

Jiří Lehovec, Czechoslovakia 1939
Print source: Národní filmový archiv (National Film Archive), Prague
Running time: 12 minutes
The Nitrate Picture Show, George Eastman Museum, Dryden Theatre, 6 May 2017

About the print: The National Film Archive received this nitrate print from the estate of the film’s director in March 2004. The print is in excellent condition. Shrinkage: 1.3%

About the film: An industrial short produced by Pražská železářská společnost (Prague Ironworks Company) in 1939, the film contains footage from the shorts Výroba oceli (Steel Production, 1939)—today presumed lost—and Poklady země (Treasures of the Earth, 1939), both directed by Karel Kohout.

AA: An industrial documentary film introduced by Michal Bregant and screened without translation, but we received a sheet with the complete commentary translated into English. We learn about limestone, iron ore, and anthracite found in the mines in the Beroun area, and the functioning of the huge industrial center Kladno in which Martin steel is produced. We witness how rail for Prague trams is being produced, and steel wire automatically rolled into reels. Ironworks products are transported to construction sites around the world "to spread the good reputation of Czech workers and Czech craft".

Jiří Lehovec (1909‒1995) is a name to reckon with, a visual talent, in this film at the top of his game, to be compared with the British, German, and Russian documentary schools, and for a Finn, our greatest contemporaries, Aho & Soldan.

A perfect definition of light in an excellent print.

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