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“A crime is a crime, even if committed by kings,” intones the narrator of director József Gémes’ animated portrait of the supposedly “heroic” age of medieval knights and kings, a sprawling and bloody tapestry of ruthless combat to rival Game Of Thrones. Based on an epic narrative poem by 19th century Hungarian writer János Arany, HEROIC TIMES has a unique visual style combining gorgeous oil paintings and 2-D animation, similar to the Japanese anime BELLADONNA OF SADNESS. Stylistically, the film is closer to sweeping medieval sagas like Aleksandr Ptushko’s ILYA MUROMETS, John Boorman’s EXCALIBUR and Ralph Bakshi’s underrated version of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, tied together by the battle-wearied voice of the narrator: “I haunted the alien streets as a spirit of withered times.” Winner of the feature film award at the 1985 Annecy Animated Film Festival, the long-unseen HEROIC TIMES has been newly restored by the NFI – National Film Institute-Film Archive in Hungary for its first-ever U.S. release by Deaf Crocodile.

Region A Blu-ray
New 4K restoration of HEROIC TIMES by the NFI – National Film Institute-Film Archive in Hungary
New commentary track by film historian Samm Deighan
New essay by film historian and professor Jennifer Lynde Barker
Short film: “Koncertissimo” (1968, 3 min.) – in this scathing anti-war satire, an elegant crowd gathers at the concert hall to hear a very different kind of orchestra perform
Short film: “Parade (Díszlépés)” (1969, 5 min.) – a beautiful hand-painted short about the absurdity of military dress parades
Short film: “Funeral (Temetés)” (1970, 3 min.) – a solemn and tearful funeral is interrupted by unexpected laughter in Gémes’ black comic gem
New video interview with HEROIC TIMES animator Sándor Békési, moderated by Dennis Bartok of Deaf Crocodile
New video interview with György Ráduly, Director of the National Film Institute-Film Archive on József Gémes and the history of Hungarian animation, moderated by Dennis Bartok
Blu-ray authoring by David Mackenzie of Fidelity In Motion
English subtitles


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