Return of Kinoautomat

On 11 January, MfD reported that a new exhibit at the National Film Theatre in London would include Radúz Činčera's Kinoautomat (here's the full Czech text).

This from the British Czech and Slovak Association website:

A huge hit at EXPO 67 in Montreal, Kinoautomat is the first ever interactive cinema system created by a talented ensemble of Czech New Wave filmmakers. It centres on the hapless Mr. Novák who finds himself caught up in various situations which represent moral dilemmas. In a specially ‘voting cinema’, the audience members could alter the trajectory of the film at key intersections. As a part of the original experience, [Miroslav] Horníček himself would act out a moderating role, providing a human interface to the film's branching structure. The film was last presented in 1974 making this the first production of Kinoautomat for 31 years.

As you've probably noticed, interactive cinema never really took off, although it has inspired projects like Cause and Effect, a hybrid between cinema and live theatre, which premiered in Finland in 2002.

Mark Naimark caught up with Činčera in 1998 when the latter was working on the ill-fated St. Michael's Mystery. Naimark had previously written about Činčera in a 1997 paper called Interactive Art - Maybe It's a Bad Idea, in which he also touches on Činčera's Cinelabyrinth.

A new project to bring the kinoautomat experience to DVD received CZK 300,000 from the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography in 2004.


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