Monday, October 09, 2006

The Film School in Zlín

Jesse and I spent the weekend primarily in Zlín and Uherské Hradiště, which are not far from one another in eastern Moravia.
Our primary reason for going was that there was a folk festival in Uherské Hradiště, where Jesse and Alex planned to shoot footage for a short documentary on the cimbalom. (Which they did in fact do.) Since Alex was so kind as to lend her filmmaking expertise to this project, Jesse and I rented a car so that we could easily go back and forth between Zlín and Uherské Hradiště, and so that we could help Alex move some of her stuff from the new apartment up to her office at the film school.

We thought the film school was pretty exciting, even at midday on a Sunday. Consequently, we took lots of pictures, starting with the front door of Alex's building.

Alex even has a special sign on her office door. This is what she gets to do in exchange for learning about puppet animation. As you might imagine, we were much impressed.

Inside Alex's door is an office about the width of a small closet. In its favor, it is quite long, featuring a desk area at least 10 feet in length plus bookshelf space and a large window overlooking the forest. While I wasn't sure where Alex was going to put all the things we brought (it took two car trips to carry them), I expect it will be a very fine office once she gets it set up.

Once we had unloaded, Alex took us on a tour of the building. While a good many rooms were locked for the weekend, we got to see all the hallways and some production rooms.


The film school complex is designed in a version of Functionalist architecture that appears to be peculiar to Zlín, which is to say a predilection for squarish brick buildings. There is, in fact, something strangely charming about both the town and its film school. One of the striking things about the film school campus is that, although the buildings are not at all new, and the linoleum on the floors might repel me elsewhere, it has an air of being both sturdy and lovingly maintained.

Furthermore, many of the windows look out upon the woods.



The stairwells are very light.



Well--some of them. Others are well decorated.


As are the hallways. Zlín specializes in animated film.


Alex, as noted, is studying puppet animation, a technique for which the Czech Republic is particularly renowned. Not surprisingly, many of the halls and stairwells were decorated with displays of puppets from past films.


We especially liked the puppet filmmaker and his footed camera.



There were, however, lots of other fun puppets.


And nice windows to look out of.


And even a Christmas puppet display.


These instructions, which we found on the ground floor, are very important to achieving the correct effect as a snowman.

I'm not sure what the yeti-like creature is. Apparently something that lives in the woods near Zlín.


I thought the view out the front doors was rather nice.


Alex suggests that we come back sometime soon.

Filed under:

5 Comments:

Blogger Kristen said...

Sounds like fun! One of the Moscow Fulbrighters was studying Russian animation, which is heavy on puppets too. She had a ball--even got to make a puppet. I hope Alex enjoys her gig!

October 09, 2006 11:59 PM  
Anonymous bikerbar said...

I'm sure you know that Zlin was built up by Bata in the 20s into a little workers paradise. This explains all the old functionalist architecture there

October 11, 2006 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karla, your comments about Alex's office are killing me. Miss y'all out there.
Nathan

October 12, 2006 8:22 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

When I get a chance, I'll be posting some photos of the Bat'a buildings and other architecture.

Nathan, we await your return...

October 13, 2006 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex,
Very cool to hear what you've been up to via this blog. I'm actually out in LA now pursuing the narrative film thing. Have been in touch w/Karen Kraft and Mike Mills, who are also out here, and Pam Deutsch is due in town fairly soon for a conference. Hope all is well, and great to see you going for it!

Best,
Rob Deege,
One of your partners-in-crime at Discovery

October 16, 2006 6:02 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home