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DREAMING – Czechoslovak Film Poster Inspired by Surrealism

In the end of 1920’s the Czech culture received a strong impulse from Surrealism. In the time of the Protectorate and Stalinism that followed, surrealists still worked in hiding. In the more liberated 1960’s the Surrealist aesthetics became more popularized and domesticated. The film poster is proof of that.

The mysterious, ambiguous, often even existential symbolism of Surrealism refers to aspects which officially had no place in the life of an individual, or a society: dreams, nightmares, jeopardy, death.

Designers of film posters were allowed to work more or less freely with surrealist language within applied arts, with the exception of eroticism which became a victim of censorship.

Surrealism had the strongest impact on the Czech affichiste Josef Vyleťal who got influenced by this movement even in his free creation. He is the author of the richest and finest collection of the Czechoslovak film posters inspired by Surrealism.

Karel Teissig and Karel Machálek were also influenced by Surrealist aesthetics, while other notable poster designers Milan Grygar, Karel Vaca, or Zdeněk Ziegler got inspired by it only marginally.

Later on, this aesthetics could be traced in film posters by Zdeněk Kaplan, Karel Laštovka, Zdeněk Palcr and Jiří Svoboda whose works are also a part of the exhibited collection.

The exhibition “DREAMING – Czechoslovak Film Poster Inspired by Surrealism” will present over 100 posters in 3 Prague cinemas: Aero, Oko and Světozor.

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