Subsequent to the psychological drama Daleká cesta (The Long Journey, 1949), which Director Zdeněk Troška has earned a reputation as a populist entertainer. However, during the 1980s he began to add a number of far more interesting and creative projects to his filmography, notably different from his contemporary film series such as Kameňák (Bad Joke, 2003) and Babovřesky (The Old Hag's Yells, 2013). Evidence of this is found in the fairytale O princezně Jasněnce a létajícím ševci (Princess Brightness and the Flying Shoemaker, 1987), filmed when the director was 40-years-old. Inspired by a story from author Jan Drda, and adapted for the screen by Karel Steigerwald, Troška offers viewers an expansive, fantasy tale. Troška shows off his dynamic storytelling capabilities, as well as his inflamed sense for romantic tales (also evident in his Poklad hraběte Chamaré – The Treasure of Count Chamaré, 1984; and Andělská tvář – Angel Face, 2001). This story of cobbler journeyman Jíra, who thanks to his wit and courage succeeds in winning the hand of a noble royal bride, became a symbol of modern energetic filmmaking, usually associated with a younger generation of filmmakers who came to prominence after 1989. Troška offers viewers an engrossing tale featuring both lyrical and gripping scenes, and a sense of style defined by a free-flowing camera (Jaroslav Brabec). Additionally, the film benefits from nimble, inventive editing (Eva Bobková). Ordinary provincial man Jíra is the sympathetic protagonist of the story. He invents a set of wings that enable him to fly all the way to the tower in which his beloved princess is imprisoned. There, her wretched father has locked up Jasněnka in order to protect her from the curse of a Black Forest witch – a marriage to a simple cobbler. But instead of enduring this curse, Jasněnka embraces it, finding happiness and good fortunes with Jíra. However, the young man must battle against the vengeful, malicious witch Černava and her daughters. The love-smitten couple is played by Jan Potměšil and Michaela Kuklová. Helena Růžičková and Yvetta Blanarovičová offer delightful performances as the larger-than-life fairytale witches – both would again perform for director Troška in several other film projects.
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