Jan Hrebejk – Svatá Ctverice AKA Holy Quaternity (2012)

 Jan Hrebejk   Svatá Ctverice AKA Holy Quaternity (2012)

thgc Jan Hrebejk   Svatá Ctverice AKA Holy Quaternity (2012)

Marital fidelity can wear you down, and Ondra (Hynek Čermák) and Vitek (Jiří Langmajer) are certainly suffering from a case of serious fatigue. Working side by side and living next door to each other, it doesn’t take long before these two long-married middle-aged pals start comparing sex notes, and it’s plain to see their latest scores have fallen far below what they would have hoped. Luckily, a surprise holiday on a tropical island rekindles their interest in their wives — only they don’t exactly lust after their designated partners. With no one to divert their attention, their roaming eyes inevitably settle on the wrong spouse, and pretty soon they’ve established their own little Holy Quaternity. The new film from Jan Hřebejk, director of the Academy Award®–nominated Divided We Fall, is an observant and audacious look at the measures some couples will take to revive desire. Ondra and Vitek’s irrepressible joie de vivre makes it impossible to pass judgment, even when the two couples break their own rules by fooling around behind each other’s backs. Parents to two sets of hormonally charged teenagers who endlessly circle each other in a clumsy pre-coital ritual — Vitek has two girls, Ondra two boys — the adults soon put their kids to shame by secretly straddling the fence that divides their communal front yard. Continue reading

Evald Schorm – Pet holek na krku AKA Saddled with Five Girls (1967)

 Evald Schorm   Pet holek na krku AKA Saddled with Five Girls (1967)

thgc Evald Schorm   Pet holek na krku AKA Saddled with Five Girls (1967)

From History of Narrative Film by David A. Cook (p712):

“Schorm’s third film of contemporary social criticism, Saddled with Five Girls, forms a kind of trilogy with Everyday Courage and The Return of the Prodigal Son. Less pessimistic than his earlier work, Saddled with Five Girls is a film of youthful love and alienation which juxtaposes its narrative with scenes from Weber’s Die Freischütz.

From 50 Major Filmmakers edited by Peter Cowie (p231):

“Five Girls to Cope With, in 1967, set out to explore that critical age of adolescence when a person’s character is formed for good or evil. Schorm examined a girl’s problems of being giving too much. She tries to buy the goodwill of her less fortunate friends; her intentions are pure, but in the difficulty of communicating she learns envy and deceit, and must decide if she will submit to double dealing or steel her life against self-deception and mediocrity. In addition to the relationship between the girl and her friends, Schorm introduces a teenage romance and the broader relationship between the girl’s parents – neatly tied together with segments of Weber’s opera, Die Freischütz. He reveals himself as a skilled psychological director with a wide range of knowledge about people. Continue reading

Jan Svankmajer – Zánik domu Usheru AKA Fall of the House of Usher (1982)

 Jan Svankmajer   Zánik domu Usheru AKA Fall of the House of Usher (1982)

thgc Jan Svankmajer   Zánik domu Usheru AKA Fall of the House of Usher (1982)

In this animated version of Edgar Allan Poe’s story, a traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to find that the sibling inhabitants are living under a mysterious family curse: The brother’s senses have become painfully acute, while his sister has become nearly catatonic. As the visitor’s stay at the mansion continues, the effects of the curse reach their terrifying climax, and he must choose between his concern for his hosts’ safety, and his own. Continue reading