Monday, 7 September 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 267: Thu Sep 24

The Cremator (Herz, 1968): ICA Cinema, 8.40pm


The ICA are running a film season celebrating ten years of Second Run Films, featuring movies chosen by a variety of filmmakers. Here, ICA Film and Cinema Manager Nico Marzano introduces the season:
September 2015 marks Second Run's 10th Anniversary, an appropriate time to celebrate their work in bringing long-lost classics and undiscovered contemporary films to an UK audience. As part of the celebrations, Second Run have asked filmmakers to choose just one film that they love in the catalogue - and have come up with a selection of personal choices from (among others) Pedro Costa, Mark Cousins, Yorgos Lanthimos, Kim Longinotto, Jiří Menzel, Carol Morley, Avi Mograbi, Joshua Oppenheimer, the Brothers Quay, Ron Peck, Carlos Reygadas, Peter Strickland, István Szabó and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Of the many films chosen by the filmmakers, the ICA has selected five for our week-long celebration which runs 19–24 September 2015. A difficult decision but we have now reached our final selection of five films and are delighted that all will be presented by the filmmakers and writers who selected them. Their choices represent a core selection of the Second Run catalogue, each film a special discovery to share with a new audience. We hope you will join us for the celebration.
Peter Strickland selects tonight's choice, The Cremator.

Chicago Reader review:
While it's a bit programmatic for my taste, this 1968 black comedy in black and white is undeniably creepy—once director Juraj Herz enters the fractured mind of his protagonist, he refuses to budge. Based on a novel by Ladislav Fuks (who cowrote the screenplay with Herz) and set in Prague before and during the German occupation, it concerns a smugly bourgeois crematorium operator (Rudolf Hrusinsky) who loses his sanity and drifts into collaboration with the Nazis, ultimately turning on his half-Jewish wife and their children. An outlying figure of the Czech New Wave, Herz demonstrates an undeniable flair for telegraphic, almost subliminal editing and deep-focus mise en scene.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is a flavour of this unique film.

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