A Midsummer Nightʼs Dream / Sen noci svatojanské

animated / 1959 / Czechoslovakia / col. / 73 min.

One of the most significant works of Jiří Trnka, the widescreen puppet film A Midsummer Nightʼs Dream, is an independent adaptation of William Shakespeare’s famous play. It’s a story set in Athens during a night in June that features two lovelorn couples, craftsmen obsessed with theatre and supernatural beings. These distinct worlds meet in a magical forest and all characters go on a dreamy adventure. – Jiří Trnka enlisted the help of Jiří Brdečka to adapt the original work for musical puppet pantomime. The film was shot in CinemaScope format (while a classic version was being shot simultaneously as a precaution) and thus became the first widescreen puppet film in the world. Despite initial skepticism, Trnka attempted to make creative use of the unusual format and underline the visual monumentality of the work.

Director: Jiří Trnka
Screenplay: Jiří Trnka, Jiří Brdečka
Photography: Jiří Vojta
Editor: Hana Walachová
Music: Václav Trojan