Karel Zeman: “Journey to the Beginning of Time” at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.

The film premier of the restored digital version of the film “Journey to the Beginning of Time” (1955) will be held on 30th June and 4th July 2013 at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.

This non-fiction film from 1955 tells the story of four boys who set sail on a wooden boat up the river of time on a fantastic journey to the prehistoric Earth. One by one they explore the Quaternary, - including the Ice Age - the Tertiary, the Mesozoic and the Paleozoic Eras up to the Silurian sea, where they find a living trilobite.

 

Thanks to this film, a whole generation of children were first introduced to the history of our planet, with its ancient plants and animals, brought to life on the big screen by the creativity and artistry of Karel Zeman's special effects. Rated one of the best children's adventure films of all time, it is also a pioneering work of world cinema. Its popularity was testified to by its being put on distribution in America in 1960 with a newly extended introduction.

The film was inspired by the illustrations of anthropological artist Zdeněk Burian. In addition to being an adventure film, with its artistry and state of the art animation, it was also highly praised for its educational value and scientific correctness, mostly due to the participation in the production of leading Czech paleontologist Prof. Josef Augusta.

At times, the special effects in “Journey to the Beginning of Time” may look somewhat quaint to us today, but there can be no doubting the skill and the effort needed to integrate them unobtrusively into the film. This is particularly true for the combination of live and animated scenes (including the use of animated puppets) and use the matte paintings. The film was made in the Kudlovský Studios in Zlín and in the film studios in Hostivař. Exteriors were shot on the Slovak river Vah, on the Souš at Tanvald, in Strmilov, in Jindřichov Hradec, and at the Zlín dam. The final scene was filmed on the sea coast on the island of Rügen in Germany.

“Journey to the Beginning of Time” originally premiered on 5th August1955. The digitized version, made from the original film footage was released on DVD on the 27th November 2012 as the first title in the Karel Zeman Film Club series, a series of DVD re-editions started by the newly-opened Karel Zeman Museum in Prague. This series is dedicated to publishing the works of Zeman's filmography. So far, it has released digitized editions of “Journey Beginning to the Beginning of Time”, “The Fabulous World of Jules Verne” and “The Fabulous Baron Munchausen”.

The digitizations were made by the Karel Zeman Museum in association with a team of experts from UPP, Universal Productions Partner, headed by Ivo Marák, who also worked on the restoration of films such Marketa Lazarova and the documentary films of Jan Špáta. The new editions were prepared under the supervision of Ludmila Zemanova, Karel Zeman's daughter and co-producer of his last films. The DVDs were designed and produced by Jakub Fabel and Ondřej Beránek. Authoring, DVD premastering and menu design are the work of Tomáš Frelich.

The cast:

Vladimír Bejval, Petr Hermann, Josef Lukáš, Zdeněk Husták and Bedřich Šetena (commentary)

Duration of film: 93 minutes

Awards and prizes that film received:
1955 - XVI Venice International Film Festival - Grand Prix at the VII Festival of Films for Youth
1955 - Edinburgh International Film Festival - Honorable Mention
1956 – 5th Mannheim Week of Cultural and Documentary Films – Press Award for the Best Scientific Film
1956 - The Gelsenkirchen Conference of the Association of the Educational Film - Award for the Ideal Film for Youth
1957 - The Film Festival at the Moscow World Festival of Youth and Students - Special Gold Medal

Award to the Karel Zeman Museum and the Karel Zeman Film Club series
2013 – the 2013 Aras Prize of the Association of Directors and Screenwriters of the Czech Republic

Bonus material for the film “Journey to the Beginning of Time”, included on the DVD:

- The Birth of a Movie Legend
- Why Zeman Made the Film
- Where the Film was Shot
- The Heroes of the Film
- Special Effects Using Models
- The Legend Continues
- The Life of Karel Zeman
- Karel Zeman's Filmography
- The Karel Zeman Museum (Clarinet Factory 5.1 mix)

Total footage of bonus materials is approximately 30 minutes.


Photo and Video
Download on http://www.muzeumkarlazemana.cz in the "Media" section

Contact for media
Jakub Matejka, phone 603 864 595, e-mail: jakub.matejka @ muzeumkarlazemana.cz

Karel Zeman Museum Contact
Address, contact:
Museum of Karel Zeman, Saská 3, 110 00 Prague 1 - Malá Strana
Phone: +420 724 341 091, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.karelzemanmuseum.org

Last modified on Thursday, 26 September 2013 16:08

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