First recipient of the Grand Prix – which turned into the Cristal – for a short film at Annecy 1960, with The Lion and the Song, B?etislav Pojar (1923-2012) created an exceptional body of work.
Work colleague of Ji?í Trnka from 1947, B?etislav Pojar helped to modernise puppet animation by abandoning the representation of classic tales or imaginary worlds to resolutely tackle subjects of modern society, especially in A Drop Too Much (1954), which is a prime example of the technical expertise of the Prague School. By intense cutting and a real science of light, the filmmaker manages to bring the sensation of speed to life and brilliantly creates a vast and precise space, by the clever use of cross-cutting, making everything look so real that it is almost possible to dismiss the very nature of the puppets.
An outstanding animator and a generous teacher (he trained a long line of filmmakers, both in the Czech Republic and Canada), Pojar was rewarded with a Golden Bear in Berlin and a Golden Palm for a short film at Cannes, among many other prizes.
The programme we have devoted to him today, made up of some 35 mm copies recently arrived from Prague, is a great opportunity to appraise an exceptional body of work that has marked the history of stop-motion animation.