Archive of films One Night in a City / Jedné noci v jednom městě
2007, 75 min
Section: Czech Films 2006-2007
Not all animated films are aimed at children and not every night is spent sleeping. Artist and director Jan Balej offers a highly original stylised mosaic of puppet stories, whose heroes aren’t just inhabitants of a single city, but also characters such as a lamplighter’s faithful dog, a magic genie and an old apple tree which makes friends with a carp.
What could happen in one city during a single night? You’ll find people caring more for their weird pets than their partners or neighbours, and a tale of the strange friendship between an old apple tree and a fish which assumes a myriad forms with the changing seasons. You’ll see an accordion player who has no ear for music who decides to resolve his awkward situation once and for all, an infatuated man who, waiting in a café for his lover to arrive, encounters the ghosts of previous customers, and two drunks who come across a magic genie who makes his wishes come true. And let’s not forget the lamplighter and her faithful little dog… A mosaic of stories which director and artist Jan Balej and his crew filmed over a period of six years. These highly individual stories treating all kinds of themes conjure up an image of our own gloomy and bizarre world. Balej’s puppet microcosm isn’t a classic film for children: in its design and motifs, it’s more of an original spectacle for adults in the style of Jan Švankmajer.
About the director
Jan Balej (b. 1958, Prague) studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague and, since graduating as an artist and director, he has continued making animated films. He worked as an artist for the Jiří Trnka Studio and, as director and artist, he was involved in feature-length projects with the Italian company Irone Cinematografica Roma. In 1990 he co-founded the animated film studio Hafan Film Praha, which makes both TV programmes and films. Here he also made his four-part puppet fairy tale Tom Thumb (1994). As an animator he worked on the film by the Caban brothers Don Gio (1992). He also filmed the animated series Doings of the Hippopotamus Family (2003). He was involved with directors Aurel Klimt, Vlasta Pospíšilová and Břetislav Pojar on the animated film based on the book by Jan Werich Fimfárum 2 (2006), to which, as screenwriter, director and animator, he contributed with the segment Why Is the Sea Salty, Uncle? He wrote and directed his feature film debut One Night in a City in 2007.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Czech Films 2006-2007|
|Screenplay:||Jan Balej, Ivan Arsenjev|
|Dir. of Photography:||Miloslav Špála|
|Production:||MAUR Film, s. r. o.|
|Contact:||MAUR Film s.r.o., Falcon a.s.|
Distributor, Cinema Representative, Producer