Kino-Automat – Man and His House

Ján Roháč, Radúz Činčera, Vladimír Svitáček, 1967

Distribution media

Medium Duration Subtitles
35 mm 108 min
DCP 108 min

About the film distribution

Kino-Automat won the competition for Czechoslovak participation at the EXPO 67 World Exhibition in Montreal and was the main part of the programme of the Czechoslovak Pavilion. The project became the first interactive filmwork in the world: the first to use the play of the public with the film as well as the play of the filmmakers with the public. Its name was derived from the motto of EXPO 67, „Man and His World“. Later, the principle of Kino-Automat was presented in many other countries, including the USA and Japan, under various titles (Kino-Labyrinth, Caleidoscope, etc.) In Prague, Kino-Automat was launched in the Světozor cinema in 1971. According to the inventor of the idea, Radúz Činčera, „...the substance of Kino-Automat does not lie in the combination of film with live actors, as is often mistakenly thought and as is the case of Laterna Magica. Its principle is based on the possibility of direct participation of the viewers in the story in progress. The film story stops many times during the performance and the viewers have the possibility to influence its further progress according to their own wishes. The viewers‘ opinion is found by an electric voting appliance run by a computer and the plain majority decides, on behalf of the main character, how the story is going to proceed. This direct participation in the story in progress substitutes the atmosphere of a theatre performance, thus, for the first time in the history of cinematography, breaking through one of the basic barriers between theatre and film.“ The film was projected to the main screen from 35mm film tracks by four projectors (only three in Prague), and, to the side screens, by two 16mm-projectors. The relevant sound accompaniment was recorded on four magnetic foots of 35mm film and both the projection of the picture and the reproduction of sound were controlled automatically from the production managersʹs control unit, which allowed for the director to director affect the course of the programme. The active participation of the viewers in the story was made possible by buttons connected to the seats in the auditorium. The whole appliance was accompanied by an informative frame situated on the perimeter of the main screen. The viewers were thus able to follow both the course of action and the results of voting. The technical equipment was designed by Bohumil Míka and Zdeněk Malina and the architect of the stage was Josef Svoboda.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1967
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres experimental, comedy
Form feature
Duration 108 min
Director Ján Roháč, Radúz Činčera, Vladimír Svitáček
Cast Miroslav Horníček, Libuše Švormová, Josef Somr, Karla Chadimová, Miroslav Macháček
Director of photography Jaromír Šofr
Screenplay Radúz Činčera, Miroslav Horníček, Pavel Juráček, Ján Roháč, Vladimír Svitáček
Editor Miroslav Hájek
Production designer Boris Moravec
Music Evžen Illín
Sound designer Bedřich Poledník, Jiří Hora, Ivo Špalj