Zdenek Pešánek created the first public kinetic sculpture, for the power station in Prague. This short experimental film focuses on a kinetic sculpture by Zdenek Pešánek. For a period of eight years it issued beams of light from the outside wall of a transformer station at Prague’s power utility before its destruction in 1939. Though genuine, these shots seem abstract to us. They are a rhythmically assembled ode to the light-creating devices and phenomena of electricity. Light arcs, coils, bulbs and various luminous elements support the alternation of positive and negative film images, creating an impressive universe of light and shade. In the 1920s, Pešánek had obtained financial support for his work with electric kinetic light art. In the 1930s, he was the first sculptor to use neon lights. He built several kinetic light pianos, and published a book titled “Kinetismus” in 1941. —http://www.centerforvisualmusic.org
Otakar Vávra (born February 28, 1911) is a Czech film director, screenwriter and pedagogue. He was born in Hradec Králové, Austria-Hungary, now part of the Czech Republic.
Vávra attended universities in Brno and Prague, where he studied architecture. During 1929-30, while still a student, he participated in the making of a handful of documentaries and wrote movie scripts. In 1931, he produced the experimental film Světlo proniká tmou. The first movie he directed was 1937’s Filosofská historie.
His first feature film was 1938’s Cech panen Kutnohorských, starring Zorka Janů, sister of legendary Czech actress Lída Baarová. Janů also played in Vávra’s films Podvod s Rubensem and Pacientka Dr. Hegela, both from 1940. Baarová starred in Vávra’s films Panenství (1937), Maskovaná milenka (1939), Dívka v modrém (1939), and Turbína (1941).
After the Communists came to power in 1948, Vávra adapted quickly to the new political climate and produced films praising the current… read more