Die Legende von Paul und Paula (English: The Legend of Paul and Paula) is a 1973 tragicomic East German film directed by Heiner Carow. It was based on the novel of the same name by Ulrich Plenzdorf.
The film was extremely popular on release and drew as many as three million viewers (the GDR had a population at the time of around 17 million). However, due to the film’s political overtones it was almost not released; East German leader Erich Honecker personally decided to allow it to be shown. Today it is considered one of the best-known East German films. Continue reading
When the clown named Onion who is the trainer of a circus act involving six bears is fired, he takes a job as a cook at a school. In order to get the job, he has dressed up as a woman. When the bears come to the school to visit their friend, chaos erupts. Not only is no one prepared to cope with six friendly bears, but their visit occurs on the day when the state inspector of schools is to arrive. A chimpanzee named Tony tries to hide the six bears…
A very warm comedy for the whole family. Made by one of the most famous Czech directors.
Once more, Vlacil’s films are largely about subjects that are not seen on screen. With some spoilers, here we have a story set in 1947 when Ukrainian right-wing anti-Communist guerillas, looking like and feeling like Nazi’s, are trying to fight their way through Czechoslovakia to Austria. They come out of the forest to occupy a family’s countryside farm house, kidnapping a doctor to help heal one of their wounded, but this could just as easily be about the post-war occupying forces in Eastern Europe, or the occupying Soviet forces in the 60’s, as there is an initial belief that there is nothing anyone can do, or to coin a STAR TREK phrase, `Resistance is futile.’ The film has a very languid pace which establishes the mood and pace of this small village, much of it is wordless, with a Sergio Leone acid-western feel, easily the most outstanding feature is the original music by Zdenek Liska, which plays on the inner psychological turmoil, providing an unseen character in the film. The father gives the appearance of passivity, as he is outmanned and outgunned, while his eager young son wants a taste of immediate revenge. But a wiser course of action is called for, waiting, giving the impression he is yielding to their demands, as the father wants to protect the lives of his wife and children, which allows for large doses of screen time where various family members are performing daily farm chores, just trying to survive this ordeal, while interspersed in each frame are men with machine guns who sadistically threaten their every impulse. This farmhouse under occupation represents a country under occupation, all feel like helpless victims where every moment is spent in fear, any minute things could spin helplessly out of control, and this film skillfully gets under everyone’s skin. Continue reading
There are still water spirits among us. One group lives in Prague, led by Mr. Wassermann, who is using his wife’s family as a servants. All they need is their old house near the river. But the house is to be demolished. They have to stop it. And the only way is to drown Dr. Mrácek, who is responsible for the demolition. But he falls in love with Wassermann’s niece Jana. He changes to fish, is mistaked for water spirit from Germany, is drowned and revived again. The other problem is the flour with ears… and so on… Continue reading
Abbas Kiarostami, director of such somber films as Taste Of Cherry, is the last person one would suspect of dabbling in goofy formalist instructional movies. Nevertheless, that’s what he does here. A color is brought up – red, for example. Then various red things are shown, starting with that which is found in nature and going from there. And so on for various colors. Also, a boy with a pistol shoots different colored bottles of water and the same boy is the last survivor of a car chase. This is rather inconsequential but fun – like Seseme Street for simpleminded adults. Continue reading
The movie revolves around the life of a tax collector who is accused of taking bribes, and also has to deal with problems at home, including the suicide attempt of his wife. Continue reading
The film begins with an unknown man stumbling into hospital. He doesn’t make any attempt to identify himself, but soon after an unknown woman turns up and he begins to panic. From there we go back in time as the man remembers the events that lead up to him stumbling into the hospital. It emerges that he had a break down and was forced to stay with a family out in the woods. They are clearly hiding something right from the start and we soon find out that there’s a witch in the woods who has taken their father.
– The_Void (IMDb)