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Baron Munchausen by Gustave Doré

The Interloper: Baron Munchausen

Baron Munchausen, the tall-tale-telling hero of R.E.Raspe's stories, burst in on us uninvited.

Is he the hero of a ballet? No (but perhaps he should be).

Is he a romantic heroine? Romantic certainly. But a heroine? Most definitely not. What a suggestion!

But is he fabulous? Most definitely!

And perhaps his greatest incarnation (apart from Gustave Doré's wonderful illustrations) is in the aptly titled Czech film 'The Fabulous Baron Munchausen'.

Trailer for the Fabulous Baron Munchausen by Karel Zeman

We came across this masterpiece quite by chance while we were exploring the outer reaches of the ballet and it is just too good to leave out.

Its combination of live action with stop-frame animation is quite unique (though it inspired Terry Gilliam) and it allows the fantastic to flow effortlessly through the story.

Also unique, an unusual colour palette of variously tinted and partially tinted black and white scenes creates a wonderfully romantic and engaging dream world.

If anyone ever wanted to make a film adaptation of Giselle they could do much much worse than watch this for inspiration.

Card image: Baron Munchausen by Gustave Doré |