THE LEGEND OF TIMM THALER OR THE BOY WHO SOLD HIS LAUGHTER
TIMM THALER ODER DAS VERKAUFTE LACHEN
2017, Beta Cinema, 102 min, Germany, Dir: Andreas Dresen

James Krüss’ celebrated 1962 children’s novel comes to life in this delightful fantasy about a young boy’s reckoning with his own identity. Timm Thaler (Arved Friese) is an ordinary child, but he has an extraordinary laugh - a laugh so contagious that the devil himself (Justus von Dohnányi) would trade untold riches to obtain it. After the devious Baron tricks him into trading the laugh for the ability to win any bet, Timm embarks on a quest to settle the score, while discovering the priceless nature of true happiness. With sun-kissed cinematography and big-budget set pieces, this German blockbuster is good-hearted fun for the whole family.


THE EMPEROR’S NIGHTINGALE
CÍSAŘŮV SLAVÍK
1948, 72 min, Czechoslovakia, Dir: Jiří Trnka, Miloš Makovec

Trnka’s adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a Chinese emperor entranced by the song of a mechanical nightingale is an enchanting animated jewel box awash in hallucinatory storybook imagery.


HOCUS POCUS
1993, Buena Vista Pictures, 96 min, USA, Dir: Kenny Ortega

Over 300 years ago, the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) were executed in Salem, Massachusetts, for witchcraft, but they swore to return. On Halloween, new kid in town Max (Omri Katz) lights a cursed candle that resurrects the witches, who seek to steal the lives of Salem's children. Now Max, his sister Dani, his crush Alison and Thackery Binx, a child who was turned into a cat by the witches, must stop the evil before it's too late.


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