Czech Republic

Adolf Born & Jaroslav Doubrava & Milos Macourek – O Matylde s náhradní hlavou AKA Matylda and her Spare Head (1985)

In one town there lives a little girl named Matylda, who likes to play, but doesn’t like to study – when she has to do, she remembers little. Her mom comes up with the idea to buy her some extra heads: one for Maths, one for poetry and so forth. Matylda gets all her heads together at home and everyone is happy. Until the day when her mother accidentally switches her head for a cabbage when Matylda is to recite a poem for her grandma. The family get-together is huge embarrassment. So Matylda and her mother realize that one head is more than enough. Read More »

Oskar Reif – Postel AKA The Bed (1998)

‘Forty-year old PE teacher Luboš Urna, is a man you’d be unlikely to notice on the street. He is completely average and unremarkable, with nothing interesting or special about him at first glance. Even his life up until now seems completely ordinary; that is, until the beginning of the film. For this is when Luboš, totally unexpectedly and it could be said needlessly, dies. The moment of Luboš’s death is actually the beginning of the story, which reveals how his whole life from birth, through growing up to adulthood was a constant battle to survive in a WORLD where REAL MEN are slowly disappearing and that is more and more dominated by ALL POWERFUL WOMEN. We follow our hero through humorous, dramatic, lyrical and erotic episodes in his life, in many of which it is unclear whether they actually took place or if they are just a product of his turbulent imagination. Both the hero and filmgoers will come to a surprising realization at the end of the film.’ Read More »

Adolf Born & Jaroslav Doubrava & Milos Macourek – O chlapeckovi, který se stal kredencí AKA The Boy who became a Cupboard (1989)

Parents of all children around the world held a congress to discuss how to deal with their misbehaving. All parents came together, only one was missing, parents of Silvester, the best boy in the world. The congress decided to go see him so he could lead the other children by example. Silvester was truly an exceptional child, but his “being good at all times and under all circumstances” somewhat got out of hand … Read More »

Juraj Herz – Panna a netvor aka Beauty and the Beast (1978)

A more horrific and gloomy version of The Beauty and the Beast. Julie, the youngest daughter of a bankrupt merchant, sacrifices her life in order to save her father. She goes to an enchanted castle in the woods and meets Netvor, a bird-like monster. As Netvor begins to fall in love with Julie, he must suppress his beastly urge to kill her. Read More »

Karel Kachyna – Ucho AKA The Ear (1970)

Karel Kachyna’s 1970 The Ear is a harrowing tale that interweaves marital discord and surveillance paranoia. With its portrait of a government functionary who spends a sleepless night wondering if he’ll be arrested before daybreak, it’s no wonder that The Ear had to wait until 1989 for its Czech premiere; the wonder is that it was made at all. The latter, at least, can be explained by the fact that Kachyna’s long-time collaborator, scenarist Jan Procházka, was a government official of some standing – which accounts, no doubt, for The Ear’s insider perspective, playing as it does with the couple’s knowledge of which rooms in their comfortable house are likely bugged and which aren’t. Read More »

Václav Marhoul – Tobruk (2008) (HD)

Nominated for eight Crystal Lions (the Czech Republic’s equivalent of the Oscars), and a substantial domestic hit, war film “Tobruk” reps a solid work of craftsmanship in every department. Story of a bunch of grunts who get shipped out during WWII to the North African frontline in Tobruk, Libya, doesn’t score many points for originality, but the pic tells its tale well, without sentimentality, and features vigorous, intense action sequences. In a healthier economic climate, writer-helmer Vaclav Marhoul’s sophomore feature might have flown the Czech flag in cinemas offshore, but these days its best shot is in ancillary pickups. Read More »

Stefan Uher – Slnko v sieti AKA The Sun in a Net (1962) (HD)

Oldrich “Fajolo” Fajták (Marián Bielik), a student who directs quasi-existentialist verbal abuse at his girlfriend Bela Blazejová (Jana Beláková), takes off to a formally volunteer summer work camp at a farm where he meets her grandfather. Read More »