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

iDHII2 Juraj Herz   Panna a netvor aka Beauty and the Beast (1978)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Juraj Herz   Panna a netvor aka Beauty and the Beast (1978)

A more horrific and gloomy version of The Beauty and the Beast. Julie is a bankrupt merchant`s daughter who as the only one of the three daughters chooses to save her father`s life by going to the Haunted Wood`s Castle where she meets Netvor. He wants to kill her, but her beauty prevents him from that. Although she is forbidden to see him she starts to love him and the love rescues him from his curse… Continue reading

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Jan Nemec – Mucedníci lásky aka Martyrs of Love (1966)

eJw2LD Jan Nemec   Mucedníci lásky aka Martyrs of Love (1966)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jan Nemec   Mucedníci lásky aka Martyrs of Love (1966)

Another brilliant outing from Czech New Wave master Jan Nemec, director of Diamonds of the Night and The Party and the Guests.

Martyrs of Love is in 3 distinct sections, separated by title cards, connected thematically and formally rather than concretely. Music is probably the most important connection, as all three sections have prominent musical events. Continue reading

Pavel Jurácek & Jan Schmidt – Postava k podpirani Aka Joseph Kilian­ (1965)

7xpdXB Pavel Jurácek & Jan Schmidt   Postava k podpirani Aka Joseph Kilian­ (1965)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Pavel Jurácek & Jan Schmidt   Postava k podpirani Aka Joseph Kilian­ (1965)

Quote:
A year after Franz Kafka’s work had been translated from German into his native Czech, this experimental feature was full of Kafka’s tone and style. The story is about Harold, an isolated figure in an overwhelming world of totalitarian bureaucracy. Harold tries to find the elusive Joseph Kilian, an old acquaintance, in Prague. When Harold stumbles across a state-run cat-lending store, he impulsively rents a feline for the day. Later, he attempts to return the cat and finds that the store no longer exists. Now with a furry companion, Harold continues his search for Kilian. Written and directed by Pavel Juracek, this 40 minute film effectively aims its allegorical shots at personality cults and the absurdities of a totalitarian regime. × Continue reading

Oldrich Lipský – Tajemství hradu v Karpatech AKA The Mysterious Castle In The Carpathians (1981)

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29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Oldrich Lipský   Tajemství hradu v Karpatech AKA The Mysterious Castle In The Carpathians (1981)

Synopsis:

In the 1800s, a baron, who is the owner of a castle known as The Devil’s Castle and who is also an obsessed opera fan, keeps the body of his favorite diva preserved in a crypt in the castle. In order to keep away potentially nosy visitors, the baron’s mad-scientist assistant, invents all sorts of spooky phenomena in order to give the castle a creepy reputation. Continue reading

Vera Chytilova – Kopytem sem, kopytem tam AKA A Hoof Here, a Hoof There (1988)

AF6Cfr Vera Chytilova   Kopytem sem, kopytem tam AKA A Hoof Here, a Hoof There (1988)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Vera Chytilova   Kopytem sem, kopytem tam AKA A Hoof Here, a Hoof There (1988)

A cautionary tale about the dangers of unprotected promiscuity among heterosexuals, this story chronicles the exploits of three good friends. Pepe is the playboy of the bunch: despite having a lovely girlfriend, he finds a way to have sex with as many women as possible. His buddies from time to time exchange girlfriends with him. Though they are by no means the lothario he is, they do quite enough bed-hopping to get into trouble. When it becomes obvious that Pepe has gotten AIDS, his buddies, afraid for themselves, get mean. Continue reading

Otakar Vávra – Kladivo na carodejnice AKA Witches’ Hammer (1970)

0U8B3o Otakar Vávra   Kladivo na carodejnice AKA Witches Hammer (1970)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Otakar Vávra   Kladivo na carodejnice AKA Witches Hammer (1970)

REVIEW by Susan Doll (from facets.org):

The Czech New Wave rode the tide of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia that lasted throughout the 1960s, which accounted for their ability to make highly personal films in individual styles. At the same time, this generation attracted international attention and acclaim. However, they were not the only directors to benefit from the freer political climate. Older directors from the postwar period, and even those of the prewar generation, made films they probably could not have made earlier in their careers.

Witches’ Hammer (Kladivo na Carodejnice), adapted from a novel by Vaclav Kaplicky, was historical drama roughly based on actual events, but Vavra became particularly fascinated with the subject matter while researching the film. Witches’ Hammer is a tale about the witch trials in Czechoslovakia in the 17th century, which unfolds from the perspective of an educated priest. The priest watches as his village’s most prosperous citizens are arrested by the Inquisitor, who impounds their property. The priest tries to stop the false accusations and fear-mongering, but he himself is unjustly accused. As he started the project, Vavra grew increasingly interested in the history behind the witch trials-why it happened in a country that did not practice witchcraft, how the victims were manipulated into confessing to actions they did not commit, and why they begged for swift punishment. Continue reading

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