Homage to Jiří Šafář / Letopis Jiřího Šafáře
2017 - Czech Republic - 5min, 35mm
Jiří Šafář (1921 – 2018) was a Czech cinematographer who has worked on over 120 films, mainly animated. He is best known for his collaboration with Jiří Trnka, a Czech puppet-maker, illustrator, motion-picture animator and film director, with whom he made, for example, The Cybernetic Grandma (1962) or The Hand (1965). Jiří Šafář also collaborated with the renowned surrealist filmmaker and artist Jan Švankmajer on his film Rakvičkárna and was the main cinematographer for famous Czechoslovak slapstick stop-motion animated series Pat a Mat.
When talking about his work and films, Jiří Šafář mentioned many places in Prague which no longer exist – such as the famous Film Laboratories Barrandov. Moreover, due to his limited mobility, Mr Šafář could not leave his apartment and walk us through his memories himself.
We decided to let it influence the form of the film and because Mr Šafář used to work mainly with puppets and animation, we constructed a puppet of him and transfer a bit of the lightness and playfulness from films he used to make to his portrait too.
Homage to Jiří Šafář is a portrait of Mr Šafář and his work, shot on 35 mm b&w film.