Karel Roden Medieval Drama ‘Little Crusader’ Gets Striking New Trailer

Karel Roden Medieval Drama ‘Little Crusader’ Gets Striking New Trailer

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Little Crusader (Křižáček), a new Czech production featuring one of the country’s biggest stars, Karel Roden, would be competing for the Crystal Globe at this year’s prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Yesterday, distributor Cinemart released the first trailer for the feature, and it’s a real doozy: a striking-looking thing in a boxy 4:3 aspect ratio, it looks like a rare medieval drama with legit arthouse cred.

In Crusader, Roden stars as Bořek, a knight who undertakes a desperate search for his young son who has left to seek the Holy Land. Adapted from poem by Jaroslav Vrchlický, the Karlovy Vary festival guide notes its ‘sparse plot’ and ‘formal inclusion of silence’.

When you hear ‘Czech’ and ‘medieval’, you think of some of the country’s campy fairy tales, like Jan Svěrák’s recent Three Brothers. But going by the trailer, this picture’s minimalist, downbeat tone represents the complete opposite of that approach.

Director Václav Kadrnka certainly seems to have a Robert Bresson thing going for him.

His last feature, 2010’s excellent Eighty Letters, certainly evoked memories of the acclaimed French director, and particularly L’Argent.

This one recalls Bresson’s Lancelot of the Lake, one of the most realistic approaches to the genre ever put to film; its scenes of knights attempting to do battle in clunky armor would be comical if not for the director’s low-key approach.

After premiering at Karlovy Vary, Little Crusader will hit Czech cinemas on August 3.

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