Superlative drama directed by one of Czechoslovakia’s most celebrated film talents, set in and around Prague’s spectacularly evocative Gothic cathedral.
An old, solitary organist devotes himself to playing for the congregation and citizens of Prague. His life of simple reverence is turned up-side-down by a visit from an old acquaintance who asks that the organist delivers a letter and money on his behalf. This little-known, late-silent feature is a rare gem, worthy of discovery today, remarkable for the gripping performances, striking art direction and expressionistic cinematography which emphasise and build the atmosphere as it moves from dreamlike to dark and romance to desperation.
**Content warning: suicide**
Dir. Martin Frič | Czechoslovakia | 1929 | N/C 12A | 1h 19m | Czech intertitles with English surtitles
With: Karel Hašler, Suzanne Marwille, Oskar Marion, and Ladislav H. Struna
Original title: Varhaník U Svateho Víta
Performing live: Maud Nelissen (piano, electric keyboard)
Online programme notes by Samizdat Eastern European Film Festival
Screening material courtesy of Národní filmový archiv
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