FRIDAY, MAY 3
New People Cinema
$13 member, $15 general
George Gund III, longtime chair of the board of directors of the San Francisco Film Society, began his involvement with the Festival in 1966. Gund selected Marketa Lazarová as part of the Festival’s Indelible Images series to celebrate the Festival’s 40th anniversary, and in his memory, the Festival offers this special screening of the Czech epic of which Gund said, “This film lingers in my thoughts. I’ve seen it dozens of times; it expands with every viewing.”
Upon its release in 1966, Variety declared Marketa Lazarová—with its three-hour length, elliptical, dream-like narrative and totally foreign flavor—”a stunning work… unsuitable for general commercial release.” Now recognized as an epic Gothic tale, this monumental Czech masterpiece is a film whose audience has finally caught up with it. Set in the remote forests of Bohemia in the 13th century, the complex plot is woven around the abduction and brutal rape of Marketa Lazarová, a clan leader’s angelic, convent-bound daughter, by a fierce pagan warrior. Forgoing the temptation to reduce the story to a simple highwayman adventure, filmmaker Frantisek Vlácil—known for his poetic lyricism—revives the age in all its stark details, penetrating into the hearts and minds of his ancestors, into the world of Gothic man.
Click here to read about George Gund and the George Gund III Award.