Length / A Case for a Rookie Hangman:
Blu-Ray (24fps): 107 minutes
DVD (25fps): 103 minutes
Length / Special features (Blu-ray): 75 mins
Length / Special features (DVD): 73 mins
Sound / Blu-Ray:
2.0 Mono LPCM (48khz/24-bit)
Sound / DVD: 2.0 Mono
Black and white
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Blu-Ray: BD50 / 1080 / 24fps / Region ABC
DVD: PAL / DVD9 / 25fps / Region 0
Blu-Ray RRP: £19.99
DVD RRP: £12.99
Release Date: 24 June 2019
Second Run DVD 126 / SRBD 022
Pavel Juráček's free-form and darkly surreal adaptation of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels also channels Lewis Carroll and Franz Kafka to create one of Czechoslovak cinema's most audacious and disturbing works.
Lost on a country road, a man finds himself trapped in a nightmare world that mirrors Communist-era Czechoslovakia. This transgressive film, like his earlier surrealist triumph Josef Kilián (1963), greatly provoked the authorities and was promptly 'banned forever'.
Jurácek, who earlier co-wrote Czech masterworks like Věra Chytilová experimental Daisies, Jindřich Polák's pioneering sci-fi epic Ikarie XB 1 and Karel Zeman's historical fantasy A Jester's Tale, was never allowed to direct another film - but his legacy and his commitment to poetic and political truth, remains one of the most profound, invigorating and important in all Czech cinema.
Presented from a stunning new 4K restoration, our region-free Blu-ray and DVD editions also feature a new 4K restoration Juráček and Jan Schmidt’s renowned Josef Kilián (Postava k podpírání), two additional short films, a 24-page booklet featuring a new essay by film historian Michael Brooke... and more!
• A Case for a Rookie Hangman (Případ pro začínajícího kata, 1969): presented from an HD transfer of the new 4K restoration
of the film from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive.
• Josef Kilián (Postava k podpírání, 1963): presented from an HD transfer of the new 4K restoration of the film from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive.
• Two early short films by Pavel Jurácek and Jan Schmidt:
- Cars Without a Home (Auta bez domova, 1959)
- Black and White Sylva (Černobílá Sylva, 1961)
• The Projection Booth podcast with Mike White, Kat Ellinger, Kevin Heffernan and Peter Hames (2017).
• 24-page booklet featuring a new essay by writer and film historian Michael Brooke.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C) and DVD (‘0’) editions.
Written and directed by Pavel Juráček
Based on ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift
Cinematography - Jan Kališ
Music – Luboš Fišer
Editor – Miroslav Hájek
Set Design - Milan Nejedlý
Art Direction - Huga Demartini, Vladimír Dvorák
Sound - František Fabián
Lubomír Kostelka - Lemuel Gulliver
Pavel Landovský - Fizl
Klára Jerneková - Margaret
Milena Zahrynowská - Dominica
Radovan Lukavský - Profesor Beiel
Luděk Kopřiva - Vilém Seid
Miroslav Macháček - Prince Munodi
"A formally audacious political fantasia that transforms the third book of Gulliver's Travels into an allegory on coercion and tyranny... it stands with Věra Chytilová's Daisies, Ivan Passer's Intimate Lighting, and Miloš Forman's The Firemen's Ball as one of the major achievements of the Czech New Wave" Chicago Reader
"Here is absurdity, transgression, jet-black comedy and the unexplained" Time Out
"A rare film, even within the context of the underappreciated Czech New Wave, but it has a unique, timeless brilliance"
1963 Oberhausen International Short Film Festival /
Winner: Grand Prix
1963 Mannheim International Film Festival /
Winner: FIPRESCI Prize
"A wonderfully clever, surreal, and gloomy yet enjoyable tale, perfect for cat lovers and fans of Eastern European cinema" Bonjour Tristesse
"Juráček and Schmidt scarcely put a foot wrong in evoking the incomprehensible mazes - simultaneously absurd and terrifying - of totalitarian bureaucracy" Time Out