Review of The Cremator (1969)

Moving picture, 95 minutes

Seen in 2016.

A Czech cremator espouses Tibetan Nazism while the Germans expand through Europe.

Primarily an art film. As a satire of fascism it’s a lot less fun, and even less meaningful, than Visconti’s contemporary The Damned (1969). Kopfrkingl’s madness is entertaining mainly as an exercise in successful subjective focalization in filmmaking, getting remarkably close to the effect of a good novel told from inside the mind of its protagonist. A lot of the shots taken along the way are also beautiful in their own right. When it comes to fascism, Herz does insert some memorable scenes of brutish, drunken, Czech Nazi power grabbers sensing whence the wind blows, so his heart was in the right place.

moving picture fiction