Jeremy Lybarger is the features editor at the Poetry Foundation. His essays and journalism have appeared in Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Guardian, Mother Jones, Pacific Standard, and the New Republic. (April 2020)
The auteurs of Juraj Herz’s generation made audacious films that mix absurdism and the grotesque in oblique allegories of life under totalitarianism. In its energy and richness, the Czech New Wave of the 1960s rivals the comparatively more renowned Italian Neorealism, French New Wave, and New German Cinema. Herz was one of its most inventive figures. From 1965 until his death in 2018, at age eighty-three, he made startling, exuberantly stylized films that borrow the frameworks and visual grammar of horror, fantasy, suspense, or costume drama.