A more horrific and gloomy version of Beauty and the Beast. Julie is a bankrupt merchant’s daughter who as the only one of the three daughters chooses to save her father’s life by going to the Haunted Wood’s Castle where she meets Netvor. He wants to kill her, but her beauty prevents him from that. Although she is forbidden to see him she starts to love him and the love rescues him from his curse. –listal.com
Director Juraj Herz was born on 4 September 1934 in Kežmarok, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). Interestingly, acclaimed Czech animator Jan Švankmajer was born on that very day. Although Herz attended the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) with directors such as Jaromil Jireš, Jiří Menzel, Evald Schorm and Věra Chytilová, he studied in the puppetry department with Švankmajer. The other directors listed above, all of whom have become poster children for the Czechoslovak New Wave, were enrolled in the Filmová a Televizní Fakulta Akademie Múzkých Umění v Praze (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague). In his interview with Ivana Košuličová, Herz suggests that he was looked down upon and excluded from the movement because he was considered “a puppet artist, not a film director”.
Today, Herz remains on the margins of the Czechoslovak New Wave. Monumental texts on the movement, such as Peter Hames’ The Czechoslovak New Wave and Antonín J. Liehm… read more
I was a bit reticent about the monster being a bird but Herz makes it work wonderfully. His gloomy approach of the tale is impecable as it translates in the environment. The image is perfect, as well as the music. Highly recomended.