The Museum of the Moving Image has announced that a brand-new digital restoration of the famed Czech animator Karel Zeman’s 1958 film Invention for Destruction (Vynález zkázy) will premiere simultaneously in three countries on this Friday, July 10. Presented in collaboration with the Czech Center New York, the film will be shown at Museum of the Moving Image at 2:00 p.m.( with an encore screening on Sunday, July 12, at 2:00 p.m.). The film will also screen at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic and at the National Museum of Cinema in Turin, Italy.
Released in the United States in 1961 as The Fabulous World of Jules Verne, the film is based on Jules Verne’s nineteenth-century tale of a professor kidnapped by a band of pirates who want to use his invention to take over the world. A dazzling blend of live action and animation, with an eye-popping style based on engravings by Édouard Riou and Léon Bennett—illustrators of Verne’s novels—the film became a global phenomenon, playing in 96 cinemas in New York alone. Pauline Kael called it a “wonderful giddy science fantasy," and noted that Zeman "sustains the Victorian tone, with its delight in the magic of science, that makes Verne seem so playfully archaic.”
The digital restoration of Invention for Destruction is a part of the project Restoring The World of Fantasy, a partnership of the Karel Zeman Museum, The Czech Film Foundation, and Czech Television. The aim of the project is within three years to digitally restore selected films produced by Karel Zeman to the finest quality, so it is possible to screen them in cinemas again and their reputation will be revived.
Tickets for the screenings are available online and can be purchased now at movingimage.us.