Jan Stallich - Writer





Cinematographer. Nationality: Czech. Born: Prague, 19 March 1907. Career: 1924–27—worked in A-B film laboratory; 1927—head of Kavalirka film laboratory; first film as cinematographer; also attended evening classes at graphics school, and made news and publicity films; 1949–73—taught at the national film school FAMU, Prague. Died: In Prague, 14 June 1973.


Films as Cinematographer:

1927

Kašpárek kouzelníkem ( Punch the Magician ) (Kokeisl); Perníková chaloupka ( Babes in the Wood ) (Kokeisl); Provaz z obešence ( The Rope from the Hanged Man ) (Spelina)

1928

Pramen lásky ( The Source of Love ) (Kokeisl); Stín ve svetle ( Shadow in Light ) (Kokeisl); U sv. Mateje ( By St. Matthias ) (Kokeisl); V blouzneni ( In a Fantastic Vision ) (Kokeisl)

1929

Horské volání SOS ( SOS in the Mountains ) (Marten and Studecky); Chudá holka ( Poor Girl ); Neviňátka ( The Innocents ) (Innemann); Svaty Václav ( St. Wenceslas ) (Kollár) (co); Z českých mlýnu ( From the Czech Mills ) (Innemann and Seidl)

1930

Za rodnou hroudu ( For Native Soil ) (Kmínek) (co); Opeřené stíny ( Fledged Shadows ) (Marten); Černý plamen ( The Black Flame ) (Krnansky)

1931

Dobrý voják švejk ( The Good Soldier Schweik ) (Fric); Kariera Pavla Čamrdy ( Pavel Camrda's Career ) (Krnansky); Obrácení Ferdyše Pištory ( The Conversion of Ferdys Pistora ) (Kodiček) (co); Poslední bohém ( The Last Bohemian ) (Innemann); Skalní ševci ( The Die-Hard Shoemakers ) (Lonegen); Spejblovo filmové opojení ( The Film Elation of Spejbl ) (Skupa); Třetí rota ( The Third Squad ) (Innemann)

1932

Devčátko, neříkej ne! ( Little Girl, Don't Say No! ) (Medeotti-Baháč); Bouře nad Tatrami ( Storm in Tatra ) (co); Funebrak (Lamac) (co); Lelíček ve službách Sherlocka Holmese ( Lelichek in Sherlock Holme's Service ) (Lemac); Pepina Rejholcová (Binovec) (co); Právo na hřích ( The Title for the Sin ) (Slavínský) (co); Ružové konbiné ( The Pink Slip ) (Marten); Vezen no Bezdeze ( The Prisoner on Bezdez ) (Vladimírov); Zlaté ptáče ( The Little Gold Bird ) (Kmínek); Extase ( Ecstasy ) (Machatý)

1933

Diagnoza X ( The X-Diagnosis ) (Marten); Dum no předmestí ( The Suburban House ) (Cikan) (co); Její lékař ( Her Doctor ) (Slavínský); Jsem devče s čertem v tele ( I Am a Girl with the Devil in My Body ) (Anton) (co); Madla z cihelny ( Madla from the Brick-Kiln ) (Slavínský); Na sluneční strane ( On the Sunnyside ) (Vancura) (co); Okénko ( Little Window ) (Slavínský); Revisor ( The Inspector ) (Fric); Reka ( The River ) (Rovenský); Srdce za písničku ( The Heart for a Song ) (Hašler) (co); Strýček z Ameriky ( Uncle from America ) (Vladimfrov); Svítání ( Dawn ) (Kubásek); Štvaní lidé ( Outcasts ) (Fehér and Sviták) (co); Záhada modrého pokoje ( The Mystery of the Blue Room ) (Cikán)

1934

Pán na roztrhání ( Very Busy Gentlemen ) (Cikán); Z bláta do louže ( Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire ) (Innemann); Žena, která ví co chce ( A Woman Who Knows What She Wants ) (Binovec) (co); Život vojenský, život veselý ( Military Life, Pleasant Life ) (Sviták)

1935

A život jde dál ( Life Continues ) (Junghans); At žije nebožtik ( Long Lives the Deceased ) (Fric); Jrdina jedné noci ( Hero for a Night ) (Fric); Jedna z milonu ( One in a Million ) (Slavínský); Koho jsem včera líbal ( Who I Kissed Yesterday ) (Svoboda) (co); The Silent Passenger (Denham)

1936

Whom the Gods Love ( Mozart ) (Dean); Golem (Duvivier); The Lonely Road ( Scotland Yard Commands ) (Dean); Guilty Melody (Potter)

1937

Moonlight Sonata ( The Charmer ) (Mendes); The Show Goes On (Dean); The First and the Last ( 21 Days ; 21 Days Together ) (Dean)

1938

Ideál Septimy ( Septima's Ideal ) (Kubásek); Klapzubova jedenáctka ( Klabzuba's Eleven ) (Brom); Pod jednou střechou ( Safe Home ) (Krňanský); Stříbrná oblaka ( Silver Skies ) (Slegl); Svet, kde se žebrá ( The Beggar Life ) (Cikán); Skola, základ života ( School, the Basis of Life ) (Fric)

1939

Dedeckem proti své vuli ( Grandpa Involuntarily ) (Slavínský); Men without Honour (Newman); Carmen fra i rossi ; Jiný vzduch ( Another Air ) (Fric); Kdybych byl tátou ( If I Was a Daddy ) (Cikán); Osmnáctiletá ( Eighteen-Year Old Girl ) (Cikán); U pokladny stál ( Standing by the Treasury ) (Lamac)

1940

Abbandano (Mattoli); Caravaggio (Alessandrini); Captain Fracassa (Coletti); L'assedio dell'Alcazar (Genina); La figlia del corsaro verde (Guazzoni)

1941

Beatrice Cenci (Brignone); Il fiacre nr. 13 ; La maschera di Cesare Borgia (Coletti); Ore nove lezione di chimica (Mattoli); I pini di Roma ; Ridi, pagliaccio! (Mastrocinque)

1942

Wiener Blut (Forst); I due orfanelle (Gallone)

1943

Frauen sind keine Engel (Forst); Germanin (Kimmich)

1944

Ein Blick zurück (Menzel); Glück bei Frauen (Brauer); Hundstage (von Cziffra)

1945

Wiener Mädeln (Forst); Vlast vítá ( Welcome Home ) (Holman and Vavra); Cesta ka barikádám ( The Road to the Barricades ) (Vávra—doc); Muži bez křídel ( Men without Wings ) (Cáp); Třináctý revír ( Beat 13 ) (Fric and Holman)

1947

Jan Roháč z dubé ( Warriors of Faith ) (Borský); Předtucha ( Presentiment ) (Vávra)

1948

O ševci Matoušovi ( Matous the Shoemaker ) (Cikán); Zelená knížka ( The Green Book ) (Mach)

1949

Léto ( Summer ) (Walló); Revolucní rok 1848 ( The Revolutionary Year 1948 ) (Krska)

1950

Temno ( Darkness ) (Stekly)

1951

Císařuv pekař a pekařuc císař ( The Emperor's Baker and the Baker's Emperor ) (Fric)

1952

Dovolená s andelem ( Holidays with an Angel ) (Zeman)

1953

Tajemství krve ( The Secret of Blood ) (Fric); A nyní hraje dechovka (short); Akrobat na hrazde (short); Harmonikář (short); Jmenuji se Fifinka (short); Lev a krotitel (short); Spejbl a Hurvínek (short—2 parts); Tamburaši u Spejbla a Hurvínka (short); Vzorná výchova (short)

1954

Krejčovská povíkda ( The Tailor's Story ); Setkání v Bukurešti ( The Meeting in Bucharest ); Večery s Jindřichem Plachtou ( Evenings with Jindrich Plachta ) (Duba and Zelenda—doc); Psohlavci ( Dog-Heads ) (Fric)

1955

Rudá záže nad Kladnem ( Red Glow over Kladno ) (Vlcek)

1956

Hrátky s čertem ( Playing with the Devil ) (Mach); Kudy kam ( Whence and Where To ) (Borský); Mladé dny ( The Young Days ); Spartakiáda ( Spartakiad ) (Fric—doc)

1957

Florence 13.30 ( The Bus Terminal ) (Mach)

1958

Páté kolo u vozu ( Granny Takes Over ) (Zeman)

1959

Mstitel ( The Avenger ) (Stekly); Slečna od vody ( The Young Lady from the Riverside ) (Zeman)

1960

Otomar Korbelář (doc); Případ Lupínek ( The Lupinek Case ) (Vorlíček)

1961

Tažní ptáci ( Birds of Passage ) (Mach)

1962

Hoffmanovy povídky ( The Tales of Hoffman ) (Kašlík); Rusalka (Kaslík); Objec na střapaté hurce ( Discovery on the Shaggy Mountain ) (Steklý)

1964

Starci na chmelu ( The Hop Pickers ) (Rychman)

1966

Lidé z maringotek ( Life on Wheels )

1967

Když má svátek Dominika ( Dominika's Name Day ); Liebesspiele im Schnee ( Ski Fever ) (Siodmak)

1968

Naše bláznivá rodina ( Our Crazy Family )

1970

Cosi fan tutte (Kašlík)

1971

Pinocchiova dobrodružstvi ( The Adventures of Pinocchio )



Publications

By STALLICH: book—


Kamera umeleckeho filmu , Prague, 1955.


On STALLICH: articles—

Film a Doba (Prague), no. 4, 1957.

Film a Doba (Prague), no. 8–9, 1959.


* * *

Jan Stallich was the youngest of the trio of famous Czech cameramen (with Heller and Vích). Like the other two, he achieved international acclaim but, unlike them, after 1945 he resumed his work for Czechoslovak cinematography to which he dedicated nearly half a century. His exceptionally fast entry into the sphere of filmmaking was made possible by his father, Julius Stallich, who belonged among the pioneers of Czech cinematography. He served his apprenticeship in the film laboratories of the studio A-B and graduated from a graphic school after attending evening classes. By 1924, he was already working in the laboratories of the Kavalirka studio which he took charge of at a later date. As a cameraman, he began with news and film advertisements. There, for the first time, he was able to apply his perfect technical knowledge which he later proved many times over raised to the level of artistic design. During the silent era, he shot 12 fairly insignificant films. More notable was his contribution to Kollár's historical epic St. Wenceslas .

However, in 1934 at the Venice festival, four Czech films were awarded the City of Venice Cup: Ecstasy , The River , The Earth Sings , and Storm in Tatra . Two of these, The River and Ecstasy , Stallich shot alone, and on Storm in Tatra he worked with V. Vích. It was his unusual camerawork in the short film Storm in Tatra which led Machatý to entrust him with the camera work in Ecstasy . Stallich succeeded like Vích in Erotikon to elevate the camera into becoming the leading form of expression in film. In harmony with the director's vision, he took advantage of many innovative and photographically effective (e.g., the glass bottom of a barrel) and emotionally evocative (fixing the camera on the workman's pick-axe, shooting the husband's mad driving with a hand-held camera, etc.) ideas. On several other occasions, he demonstrated his taste for functional effect and utilization of technical finesse, for example, in a postwar historical comedy set in the reign of Rudolf II, The Emperor's Baker and the Baker's Emperor . The success of The River , with its poetic mood, and, for his day, the daring Ecstasy , brought Stallich to the attention of such directors as Basil Dean and Carol Reed in Great Britain, Mattoli and Genina in Italy, and Willy Forst in Austria and Germany. With Forst he made his first colour film, Wiener Mädeln . Most outstanding is his collaboration on the films of Martin Fric. In Rovenský's The River he also demonstrated his poetic vision of nature as a way of expressing the action rather than just the setting for he action. In The River , as in Ecstasy , he used several innovations: for example, shooting the struggle of the young hero with a giant pike through the glass wall of the swimming pool, giving it exceptional dramatic power. Alongside the overall shots he enriched the portrayal of nature with detailed shots of various animals in movement.

After the liberation, he worked in Czechoslovakia, initially on documentary films and later on several historical dramas, including Warriors of Faith . He also shot a biographical film dedicated to the famous Czech haematologist J. Janský, The Secret of Blood . After a series of not very successful comedies, he had a further opportunity to utilize all the various styles of his highly individual craft in J. Rychman's musical The Hop Pickers . He combines the poetry of summer evenings with dramatic shots of dance scenes, and through resourceful placing of the camera he celebrates human labour in the hop garden. He also executed exceptionally demanding camera work in film adaptations of two operatic works: Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman , shot for Laterna Magica, and Rusalka . The perfect knowledge of various camera techniques and styles as well as his knowledge of laboratory processes, together with many years of practical experience, brought him both a place at the forefront of his profession and a teaching role in Prague's FAMU.

—Milos Votruba



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