Film critic: 'Ulenspiegel' has all the elements audiences want

Lembit Ulfsak as Till Eulenspiegel.
Lembit Ulfsak as Till Eulenspiegel. Source: Press material.

Lembit Ulfsak's landmark film, "The Legend of Ulenspiegel," will be screened at Tallinn's Kino Artis in two parts on May 31 and June 2.

In the 1976 feature film and mini-TV series "The Legend of Ulenspiegel," Estonian actor Lembit Ulfsak portrays the Flemish folk hero Till Eulenspiegel.

The film is based on Charles-Theodore-Henri De Coster's novel "The Legend of Thyl Ulenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak" and directed by Aleksandr Alov and Vladimir Naumov.

"Ulenspiegel" will be shown in two parts at Artis Cinema, an art-house cinema in Tallinn. The first part, titled "The Legend of Till: The Ashes of Klaas," will be screened on May 31, followed by "The Legend of Till: Viva Beggars!" on June 2.

The screenings will be preceded by a discussion with the biographer of Ulfsak, Eero Epner.

"This film aspired to be, and ultimately became, epic. It is about moral dilemmas, which were very important to the directors Alov and Naumov in all their creations," Epner said, "They portrayed people in moments when they were forced to make difficult decisions."

"When they began filming, it was a completely unique undertaking. The principal actor, Lembit Ulfsak, spent hundreds of shooting days; it took years to film in Russia, Riga, Tallinn and Western Europe," Epner said.

"They shot with multiple cameras, which was very unusual in Russia at the time; this made the film special and eagerly anticipated," he said.

"The film was a huge success, as it has all of the elements that audiences like: action, comedy, special gags, beautiful people and era-appropriate exoticism," film historian, Jaak Lõhmus, said.

"It is wonderful that this film is being shown on the big screen again," he said. "It is a spectacular widescreen picture that cannot be enjoyed on a phone."

A reviewer said that "The Legend of Ulenspiegel" is extraordinarily atmospheric, somber and realistic. It immerses you in a cold, inhospitable, lonely world of small, frightened, prejudiced people, as well as those who can see and lead through the fog of animosity and stagnation.


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Editor: Maiken Tiits, Kristina Kersa

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