Previously at the ICA - Films
20 Sep 2015
"This burly, seething musk ox of a movie, arguably the most convincing film about the Middle Ages ever made, should be on everyone's tongue... manifests a vast, chaotic pagan world like no other film experience." Village Voice
"Without a doubt the best historical film ever made anywhere." Film Quarterly
"The most convincing film about the Middle Ages made anywhere." Sight & Sound, 75 Hidden Gems of Cinema
"An intimate epic, a tangible hallucination, a visceral symphony" Slant Magazine
The film is introduced by Ben Rivers.
Voted the best Czech film ever made, Marketa Lazarová is a powerful and passionate medieval epic set in the mid-13th century. Based on Vladislav Vančura's novel, it follows the rivalry between two warring clans, the Kozlíks and the Lazars, and the doomed love affair of Mikolás Kozlík and Marketa Lazarová.
Re-creating an authentic world and reminiscent of Tarkovsky and Kurosawa, this ambitious and multi-layered film is the crowning achievement of Vláčil's career and one of the great cornerstones of world cinema.
Ben Rivers explains his selection:
“Marketa Lazarová was a film I discovered thanks to Second Run - I saw a beautiful screening of the film, in all its CinemaScope magnificence. It immediately became one of my favourite films and has stayed with me as I have mulled over a particular, as yet unmade, film in my mind. The film has a fully achieved ambition on a level rarely matched - I thought Andrei Rublev couldn't be bettered for medieval recreation until I saw this film, which seems altogether more authentic in its dirt, mayhem and unending horror. And the wolves in the snow… “
I've been thankful to Second Run for their amazing series, introducing me to many wonders from Eastern Europe. Not only that, Second Run have been releasing some of the most important films from contemporary filmmakers, including three personal favourites from the past decade - Independencia by Raya Martin, Tropical Malady by Apitchatpong Weerasethakul and Our Beloved Month of August by Miguel Gomes."
Ben Rivers is a British filmmaker and artist. His first feature-length film, Two Years at Sea (2011) has won numerous international prizes. His other works include A Spell to Ward off the Darkness (2013), made in collaboration with Ben Russell, and his latest film The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015) which premieres in competition at the Locarno Film Festival.
Marketa Lazarova, dir. František Vláčil, Czechoslovakia 1967, 159 mins, Czech with English subtitles