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Czech art film is big screen version of dark graphic novel

Vashon Film Society presents critically acclaimed Czech film "Alois Nebel" on Friday, February 1 at 9:15 pm at the Vashon Theatre. The animated feature has the look of classic film noir and American comics from the 1950s, but the story goes to the dark heart of Europe at the close of the Cold War.
Rendered in mesmerizing black-and-white rotoscope (à la Richard Linklater’s Waking Life), this dark-hearted Czech film traces the haunted visions of train dispatcher Alois Nebel at a remote station on the Czech-Slovak border in the 80s. It’s just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the shifting political and cultural landscape is the backdrop for the story.
Alois is a loner, who prefers old timetables to people, and he finds the loneliness of the station tranquil – except when the fog rolls in. Then he hallucinates, seeing trains from the last hundred years pass through the station and bringing ghosts and shadows from the dark past of Central Eu­rope.
"Alois Nebel" originated in 2003 as the first modern graphic novel published in the Czech Republic. Artist Jaromír 99 was inspired by classic American comics, socialist realism and motifs from traditional paper cutouts, which remain a typical form of folk art in the Czech mountain region of Jeseník. Film director Tomáš Luňák brought the graphic novel to the big screen in 2011, and resulting film won Best Animated Feature Film at the 2012 European Film Awards and was selected as the Czech entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.
Vashon Film Society presents monthly single screenings of art films on First Fridays after the Gallery Cruise. Admission to Friday’s film is $7.