The Fabulous Baron Munchausen jumps to the top of my list of must screen films for Basement Cinema, but for strange reasons. The film is an amazingly stylish and well made Czech film. We’ve show well made films in Basement Cinema before, but I really have to think hard to remember a film this splendid.
Full of live action and animation, this flight of fantasy is far better than the well known Terry Gilliam film. I am not disrespecting Gilliam’s work, if anything his animation work with Monty Python seems highly influenced by this film. Rather, the benefit this film has over Gilliam’s is the freedom to mingle experimental techniques, silent era special effects, and unknown actors. The last of these three is probably the most important. Not knowing the faces of the actors helps expand the suspension of disbelief. For a group of students at an experimental film school, most of whom I imagine have seen Gilliam’s Munchausen, this film might be of great interest. My only concern is that it is not bad enough, and it’s the bad films that bring out the most kids.
For me, watching this film puts me in a state of disbelief. This was made in 1961? It seemingly comes from another time, another planet…perhaps, the moon.