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Restored Czech film Baron Munchausen scores success in Britain

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Prague, Jan 5 (CTK) – The recent digital restoration of Baron Munchausen, a Czechoslovak film made by Karel Zeman in 1961, scored world success these days when the British press declared it the best-restored film of 2017, preferring it to titles restored by world distributors, Alice Sikosova has told CTK.

Sikosova, from the Czech Movies Foundation, said Baron Munchausen was chosen as one of the best novelties that appeared on Blue-ray last year by eight world-renowned film critics and curators in a poll of the prestigious British Film Institute.

British Home Cinema Choice magazine described Baron Munchausen as a visually unique work, which looks better than ever before thanks to the details surfacing after its sensitive restoration.

As usual with films by Karel Zeman (1910-1989), Baron Munchausen combines live action with various forms of animation reminding ancient engravings.

Katerina Kuthanova, from the Karel Zeman Museum in Prague, said the film was restored within a project of film renewals, on which the museum has been cooperating with the Czech Movies Foundation, Czech Television and the Universal Production Partners (UPP) company.

The project has been supported by the Culture Ministry and the State Fund for Cinematography, she said.

Apart from Baron Munchausen, the Blue-ray disc contains bonuses such as experts’ comments on the film and a documentary on Karel Zeman, in which famous U.S. film makers Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam present the Czechoslovak film maker as a great inspiration for them.

According to the foundation director Petr Sikos, the digital restoration of a film costs some 1.2 million crowns.

Another subject in the Czech Republic to restore significant old films using the digital method is the National Film Archive (NFA).

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