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OBITUARY: Czech Director Juraj Herz Featured

2018-04-10
Juraj Herz Juraj Herz Copyright: Czech Television

PRAGUE: Juraj Herz, one of the most acclaimed Czech directors, known for his horror flavoured film style and specific humour within the Czech New Wave, died in Prague on 8 April 2018. He was 83 years old.

Juraj Herz was born in Slovakia and during WW2, as a Jewish boy, he was sent together with his family to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. After the war he studied photography in Bratislava and later in the 1950´s he moved to Prague to study direction and puppetry at the Prague DAMU.

Herz´s filmography counts more than 25 feature films, many of which were awarded at important international film festivals. His drama Oil Lamps / Petrolejové lampy (Barrandov Studio, 1971) was in competition at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. One of his most famous films is the cult black comedy The Cremator / Spalovač mrtvol, produced by Barrandov Studio in 1968, which was banned from distribution and released only in the early 1990´s.

Juraj Herz received the Lifetime Achievement Czech Lion in 2009 and the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the World Cinema at the 2010 Karlovy Vary IFF.