Czech Republic

Jan Nemec – O slavnosti a hostech AKA The Party and the Guests (1966)

Distinguished as being ‘banned forever’ in its native Czechoslovakia, Nemec’s film is a masterpiece of barbed, darkly sinister wit. As a biting satire of governmental and institutional power and with its astute observations of human nature and conformity, it is a film whose relevance continues to this day.
Considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, this is its first-ever release on DVD. Read More »

Jan Spata – Respice finem (1967)

Almost half-a-million widows older than 65 years lived in Czechoslovakia in late ’60. Many of them spend the last years of their lives in the countryside. Their men died, children moved on, and they are left alone with their work and daily troubles, solitary with their fate, their beliefs, with memories of momentary happiness and past injustices, with wisdom and humility of age, as well as nature’s simplicity which surrounds them all the time. Read More »

Juraj Jakubisko – Kristove roky AKA The Crucial Years (1967)

Quote:
Jakubiskos debut, by many considered his best movie. The title can be translated as “The Crucial Years”, but literally it is “The Christ Years”, based on the idiomatic notion that a man should accomplish something in life before he reaches the age of Jesus when he was crucified. The film surely has some autobiographical elements, as it is about a beginning artist from Eastern Slovakia who lives and works in Prague. Read More »

Jan Svankmajer – Historia Naturae, Suita AKA Historia Nature Suite (1967)

A eight-part animatied portrait of various species, accompanied by a different style of music – the various parts are: Aquatilia (foxtrot), Hexapoda (bolero), Pisces (blues), Reptilia (tarantella), Aves (tango), Mammalia (minuet), Simiae (polka) and Homo (waltz). Each animation mixes drawings, pictures, real animals and animated skeletons Read More »

Jan Svankmajer – Zahrada AKA The Garden (1968)

Frank visits his friend Josef, who introduces him to his pedigree rabbits and his wife Mary. Frank is more interested in the slightly unsettling fact that Josef and Mary’s garden fence is entirely made up of living people holding hands. Finally, Frank asks Josef how he manages to keep the fence together… Read More »

Jan Svankmajer – Tichý týden v dome AKA A Quiet Week In the House (1969)

A man, apparently on the run, takes shelter in a dilapidated house. Every day, he drills a hole through a wall and looks into one of the rooms, each time seeing a different surreal vision… Read More »

Jan Svankmajer – Kostnice AKA Ossuary (1970)

A non-narrative voyage round Sedlec Ossuary, which has been constructed from over 50,000 human skeletons (victims of the Black Death). Read More »