Certuv mlyn (1949)
aka The Devil’s Mill
Article 5521 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jiri Trnka
What it is: Animated fairy tale
A beggar wanders the countryside, trying to entertain the animals with his out-of-tune music box, but he only drives them away. One little boy takes pity on him and offers him a crust of bread, which the hungry wanderer nevertheless gives away to another beggar who magically disappears. When a storm breaks out, the wanderer takes refuge in an old mill, which is inexplicably full of amenities. However, the mill is the abode of a devil…
Here’s another gem from the oeuvre of Jiri Trnka. One of the joys of Trnka is that he eschewed dialogue in favor of visual story-telling, thus rendering them enjoyable in any language. As usual, there is a great deal of wit to the story, and Trnka’s ability to instill his puppet stop-motion animation with a real cinematic sense; they don’t feel like animated puppet movies. I’m really enjoying my forays into his work.