The Jester's Tale | Chicago Reader

The Jester's Tale

In this engaging 1964 Czech feature a mercenary soldier and his Falstaffian sidekick take elaborate measures to evade allegiance to either the Catholics or the Protestants during the Thirty Years War. Pavel Juracek's script provides some biting commentary on the absurdity of war, and director Karel Zeman creates a stylistic hybrid of baroque chiaroscuro lighting, animated sequences, and sword fights choreographed like musical numbers. This works better as a series of set pieces than as a coherent narrative, but it's consistently exuberant. In Czech with subtitles. 81 min.

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