Descent into Hell – Ctibor Kovač: Fire River

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Ctibor Kovač belongs to those „hobby-experimental-film makers” who, in between two more traditional documentaries or fiction movies, get a bit crazy and taste some of the more unusual film language. His 1965 short film, Ohnivé rieky (Fire river) depicts the mechanism of an old Czechoslovakian smelter.

Fire River is a 10 minute long lyrical documentary, or – as it was written on a Slovak website introducing the film – a „verse film about the power of fire”. The first third of the movie is dominated by WSs showing the smelter and MSs introducing the workers; until with a dissolve we see almost abstract images of fire burning in furnaces,  embers cracking, and molten metal flowing like lava. The black, red and blue colors, the ECUs which seem to distort reality and Ladislav Kupkovič’s uncanny music transform the everyday workings of a common smelter into a blood-curdling descent into hell.

There is not much information available about Ctibor Kovač, the director. He was born in Banska Bystrica in 1919, and was buried in Bratislava in 1992. After studying engineering, he produced several full length fiction movies and also documentaries.

Written by: Dorottya Szalay

 

To watch the film click on the picture.

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