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From the KimStim collection
Labyrinth of Darkness
8 films by Jiri Barta
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Includes the legendary animated film The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Revered as one of the world's most significant figures in animation, Czech filmmaker Jiri Barta has made a career fashioning stunningly gothic worlds of horror and fantasy that are infused with sublime humor and intense moral examinations. Mixing the aesthetic traditions of such artists as Gaudi, Kafka, Poe, Fritz Lang, The Brothers Quay and Jan Svankmajer, Barta's films are wondrous creations that go far beyond mere children’s tales.

His early paper cut-out extravaganzas-Disc Jockey (1980) and The Design (1981)-give way to the object ballet of A Ballad about Green Wood (1983), in which logs celebrate the eternal renaissance of spring. Old mannequins spend their cracked and broken lives In the Club of the Laid Off (1989), and myriad styles of handwear spring to life as a brief history of international cinema in the award-winning The Vanished World of Gloves (1982). Barta's international reputation was cemented with The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1985), a very un-Disney adaptation of the classic German fairytale in which carved wooden puppets in a gothic cubist town are plagued by live rats. Considered one of the greatest works of puppet animation, it recalls the dark medieval epics of Ingmar Bergman. His only live action film, The Last Theft (1987), is a jewel thief/vampire flick shot in the style of 1970s European exploitation cinema.

Working mostly from the prestigious animation studio founded by the legendary Jiri Trnka, Barta's works have been criminally overlooked in the U.S. Kimstim is proud to present all eight of Jiri Barta's films, available for the first time together on one DVD.

A Ballad About Green Wood

11 minutes, color, 1983

The Club of the Laid Off

25 minutes, color, 1989

The Design

6 minutes, color, , 1981

Disc Jockey

10 minutes, color, 1980

The Last Theft

21 minutes, color, 1987

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

55 minutes, color, 1985

Riddles For a Candy

8 minutes, color, 1978

The Vanished World of Gloves

16 minutes, color, 1982

"Extraordinary... Barta creates a gothic never-was world caught somewhere between Gaudí and Kafka, Caligari and Svankmajer."- TIME OUT


152 minutes / color/b&w
Release: 2014
Copyright: 1989
DVD Sale: $29.95

Subject areas:
Animated Films, KimStim Collection

Related Titles:
The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer: One of cinema's most consistently surprising, wildly imaginative, and remarkable surrealists of our time.

Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor & Other Fantastic Films: Koji Yamamura is considered one of the greatest independent Japanese animators of this generation.

Extreme Animation: One of animation’s most prurient, dark and mischievious masters, multi-award-winning animator Phil Mulloy stands as an antidote to all that is kitsch and sentimental.

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