The Puppet Master:
The Films of Jiří Trnka

Cornell Cinema is thrilled to present six programs from the touring series The Puppet Master: The Complete Jiří Trnka, made possible with the support of the Cornell Institute for European Studies. Premiering at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York this past Spring, the touring program is the U.S.’s first complete retrospective of the works of Czech animation master Jiří Trnka (1912-1969). With 18 short and six feature-length animated films, Trnka was rivaled only by Walt Disney Studios in output. Revered as the pioneer of a remarkable new genre of animation that utilized puppets, Trnka conveyed the drama and psychology of his characters through his figures’ body language, expressive lighting, and camera movement. A prolific artist, beloved book illustrator, and author before making his first movie, Trnka had enormous impact on the development of animation in his country, and he inspired the careers of an entire generation of filmmakers around the globe.

Cornell Cinema’s selections from the program include three feature films (each shown with a Trnka short), and two programs of short films (nine shorts total).

The touring retrospective THE PUPPET MASTER: THE FILMS OF JIŘÍ TRNKA is produced by Comeback Company, originated at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Curated by Irena Kovarova. Films provided by the Czech National Film Archive.

Cosponsored with the Cornell Council for the Arts.

image: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
(Courtesy of Czech National Film Archive)