Krakatit

Table of Contents

“Krakatit” is a 1948 science fiction film directed by Czech director Otakar Vávra, based on the novel of the same name by Karel Čapek. The film tells the story of Prokop, a young scientist who invents a very powerful explosive called “krakatit”.

Prokop, played by actor Karel Höger, is a lonely man who dedicates his life to science and the invention of new technologies. His work with Krakatit leads him to meet many different people, including a mysterious woman named Eva, played by Florence Marly.

As Prokop tries to promote krakatit and make it useful for society, he realizes that many people are interested in his invention for not entirely noble reasons. Eventually, Prokop loses control of the krakatit and must deal with the consequences of his actions.

The film was highly praised for its cinematography and the performance of the actors, especially Karel Höger. “Krakatit” was the first Czech film to be presented at the Cannes Film Festival, where it achieved great success. The film is considered a classic of Czech cinematography and a reflection on man’s responsibility towards science and technology.

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Plot

Krakatit

The plot of “Krakatit” follows the story of Prokop, a young scientist who invents a very powerful explosive called “krakatit”. Prokop, played by actor Karel Höger, is a solitary man who is completely dedicated to science and the research of new technologies.

While trying to promote krakatit and make it useful for society, Prokop meets many different people, including a mysterious woman named Eva, played by Florence Marly. Eva seems interested in Krakatit and tries to seduce Prokop to get information about his invention.

Meanwhile, Prokop has an accident in the laboratory that causes him to temporarily lose his memory. After recovering, Prokop realizes that many people are interested in Krakatit for not entirely noble reasons, such as the government and the military.

Prokop tries to stay true to his ideals and use krakatit only for peaceful purposes, but eventually loses control over his invention. The krakatit ends up falling into the wrong hands and Prokop has to deal with the consequences of his actions.

The plot of “Krakatit” reflects on man’s responsibility towards science and technology and the need to use knowledge for the good of society.

Characters

Krakatit

Here are the main characters featured in the film “Krakatit”:

Prokop – played by Karel Höger, is a young scientist who invents krakatit. Prokop is a solitary man, devoted to science and the pursuit of new technologies.

Eva – played by Florence Marly, is a mysterious woman who seems interested in Prokop’s krakatit. Eva tries to seduce Prokop to get information about his invention.

Doctor Holz – played by Frantisek Smolik, is Prokop’s mentor. Holz is an elderly scientist who helped Prokop develop krakatit.

Captain Hejna – played by Jaroslav Prucha, is a military officer who wants to use krakatit for war purposes.

Doctor Vasek – played by Eduard Linkers, is another scientist who works with Prokop. Vasek is very interested in Krakatit, but tries to convince Prokop to use it only for peaceful purposes.

Doctor Holoubek – played by Jiri Plachy, is another scientist who wants to use Krakatit for warfare purposes.

Madame Roubickova – played by Vlasta Fabianova, she is Prokop’s housekeeper. Mrs. Roubickova is very worried about Prokop’s health and tries to protect him.

These are just some of the characters featured in the film “Krakatit”. Each of them plays an important role in the plot and reflection on man’s responsibilities towards science and technology.

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Film Production

“Krakatit” is a 1948 Czech film directed by Otakar Vávra, based on the novel of the same name by Karel Čapek. The film was produced by Czech production company Ceskoslovenský Státní Film, and was shot on location in Czechoslovakia.

The film’s production was very difficult due to the limitations imposed by the Czechoslovakian communist regime, which was in power at the time. The story of Krakatit, a very powerful explosive that can be used for war purposes, was considered sensitive by the regime.

Furthermore, the director Otakar Vávra had been politically persecuted by the communists themselves and had been arrested during the Second World War. However, Vávra managed to finish the film thanks to his determination and the collaboration of many other Czechoslovakian cinema professionals.

The film was shot in black and white, with very accurate cinematography that helped create a dramatic and intense atmosphere. The film’s soundtrack, composed by Jirí Srnka, was highly praised for its modern and innovative style.

Despite the difficulties encountered during production, “Krakatit” was a great success both at home and abroad, becoming a classic of Czech cinematography and a reflection on man’s responsibility towards science and technology.

Distribution and Reception

The film “Krakatit” was first released in Czech cinemas in 1948. Despite the difficulties encountered during production, the film was a great success with audiences and critics, winning several international awards and becoming a cinematic classic Czech.

In particular, the film was highly praised for its intense and dramatic storyline, Otakar Vávra’s direction and fine cinematography. The soundtrack, composed by Jirí Srnka, also received widespread praise for its innovative and modern style.

The success of “Krakatit” was not limited to Czechoslovakia: the film was also distributed in many other European countries and achieved great success with audiences and critics. In particular, the film was highly appreciated for its ability to reflect on man’s responsibility towards science and technology, a current topic even today.

“Krakatit” was received with great enthusiasm by audiences and critics both at home and abroad, becoming a classic of Czech cinematography and a reflection on science and man’s responsibilities.

Movie Style

The style of the film “Krakatit” is characterized by careful photography and direction with attention to detail. The film was shot in black and white, with photography that highlights the shadows and lights, creating a dramatic and intense atmosphere.

Otakar Vávra’s direction is very attentive to detail, with a skilful use of the camera and editing to create a tight and engaging narrative rhythm. Furthermore, the director used various narrative techniques to express the complexity of the plot, such as the use of flashbacks and dream images.

The film’s soundtrack, composed by Jirí Srnka, was also highly praised for its modern and innovative style, which fits perfectly with the film’s plot.

In summary, the style of the film “Krakatit” is characterized by a careful photography, a direction attentive to detail and a modern and innovative soundtrack, which contribute to creating a dramatic and engaging atmosphere.

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Director

Otakar-Vávra

The director of “Krakatit” is Otakar Vávra, one of the most important directors of Czech cinematography. Born in Prague in 1894, Vávra began his film career as an assistant director in 1919 and then made his directorial debut in 1922 with the film “The Secret of Vimperk’s Jar”.

During his career, Vávra directed around 70 films, including many classics of Czech cinematography such as “The Swashbuckler” (1933), “Jan Hus” (1954) and “The Flame” (1967). Furthermore, Vávra was also one of the first directors to use sound film techniques, making his first sound film in 1930.

Vávra’s career was greatly influenced by the political context of his time: during the Second World War, the director was arrested and imprisoned by the Nazis due to his opposition to the regime. After the war, Vávra continued to work in Czech cinema and also suffered persecution from the Czechoslovak communist regime.

Despite the difficulties encountered during his career, Vávra is considered one of the most important directors of Czech cinematography and his work has influenced many other Czechoslovakian and international directors. His directing style with attention to detail and his ability to create dramatic atmospheres and engaging are particularly evident in “Krakatit”

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