Journey to the Beginning of Time, dir. Karel Zeman, Czechoslovakia 1955, 86 min., Czech with English subtitles, PG
Four schoolboys embark on an epic voyage through prehistory in Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman’s Journey to the Beginning of Time (1955), now released in a new 4K digital restoration.
Noted for his early use of animatronics, celluloid, stop-motion animation, puppetry and matte work, Zeman is one of the masters of 20th-century fantasy cinema, whose innovations influenced later generations of filmmakers including Wes Anderson, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam and Jan Švankmajer.
Both screenings will be introduced by British animation filmmaker and puppeteer John Stevenson, best known for directing the Academy Award-nominated Kung Fu Panda (2008) with Mark Osborne. Stevenson has over 40 years of experience in animation, after beginning his career on Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show.