ANIMATON BREAKDOWN 2015: Invention for Destruction aka The Fabulous World of Jules Verne

Co-presented by the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles, Czech That Film, and Screen Novelties

Jules Verne, novelist and chronicler of undersea fantasies, provides the subject material for what is not only Zeman’s most popular film but the most successful Czech film of all time, famously screened simultaneously in 96 theaters in New York City upon release, and recipient of the Grand Prix at Expo ‘58. Invention for Destruction AKA The Fabulous World of Jules Verne is based upon several of Verne’s works, especially Face au drapeau (Facing the Flag), a suspenseful and nautical adventure, which in Zemans hands also manages to act as a fairy-tale-like parable on the potential dangers of science (read: atomic energy). As usual, Zeman constructed an astoundingly inventive and immersive universe—on a shoestring—situating his actors firmly in Verne’s immense and beautiful world. Using a process dubbed “Mystimation”, a combination of live action, animated drawings and lithographs, the screen pops with stylized line-etched, living illustrations in a way unseen before or since. Visually jaw-dropping, poetic and bubbling with imagination, Invention is an incredible big screen experience—and this beautiful new restoration makes it one not to be missed!

Dir. Karel Zeman, 1958, 35mm, 83 min.

Watch the trailer for Invention for Destruction!