Deaf Crocodile Films is thrilled to announce it’s releasing a new restoration of Hungarian director József Gémes’ rarely-seen animated medieval epic HEROIC TIMES (DALIÁS IDŐK) from 1984. Based on the epic poem The Toldi Trilogy by famed 19th century Hungarian writer János Arany, HEROIC TIMES has a unique visual style combining gorgeous oil paintings and classic hand-drawn 2-D animation. In the vein of GAME OF THRONES and EXCALIBUR, HEROIC TIMES paints an often bloody and brutal portrait of the supposedly “heroic” age of chivalry in the early Middle Ages and the price one man pays to uphold the codes of honor. The film has been painstakingly restored from the original camera negative by the NFI – National Film Institute-Film Archive of Hungary for its first-ever U.S. release.
“HEROIC TIMES is a visually stunning gem of hand-drawn European animation with a breathtaking range of colors and a painterly style that is almost unheard-of in Eighties animation,” says Deaf Crocodile Films’ Co-Founder and Head of Distribution Dennis Bartok. “There’s relatively little dialogue in the film and most of the narrative unfolds through this incredible blend of paintings that the camera pans across and traditional animation. Stylistically, the only film I can think of that used this technique so well was Eiichi Yamamoto’s Japanese anime BELLADONNA OF SADNESS – which ironically, Craig Rogers and I were involved with restoring and re-releasing back at Cinelicious Pics. I think fans of films like Ralph Bakshi’s underrated version of THE LORD OF THE RINGS and John Boorman’s superb EXCALIBUR will be blown away by Gémes’ vision of the Middle Ages in HEROIC TIMES.”
Says Craig Rogers, Deaf Crocodile’s Co-Founder and Head of Post-Production and Restoration: “Jealousy, murder, betrayal -- they were Heroic Times! We find time and again artists creating brilliantly subversive works under the yoke of communism. HEROIC TIMES is yet another example (see also: ZEROGRAD).”
“This poem was obligatory to read and learn by heart when I was in school myself,” remembers György Ráduly, Director of the National Film Institute-Film Archive in Hungary which restored the film for this release. “And because it was so famous, there was very little censorship of the material. … The message of this epic poem is about somebody who is just, who is strong and who is fighting for his rights against dark powers. So the Communist system liked it, in a way, because they saw it as being about someone small who is fighting against the larger powers for justice. I think that’s how the film was permitted to go into production.”
Enjoy the new trailer...