Burning Bush is a three-part mini-series created for HBO by world-renowned Polish director Agnieszka Holland. Based on real characters and events, this haunting drama focuses on the personal sacrifice of a Prague history student, Jan Palach, who set himself on fire in protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1969. Dagmar Buresová, a young female lawyer, became part of his legacy by defending Jan’s family in a trial against the communist government, a regime which tried to dishonour Palach’s sacrifice, a heroic action for the freedom of Czechoslovakia.
( HBO Europe)
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
A nondescript man is trapped in a sinister flat, where nothing seems to obey the laws of nature.
Comedy with fairy-tale touches, about Kate, who wants to marry, and Mr. Devil, who is not interested in the heart or soul of this passionate and aging lady, but is interested in her good cooking – for Mr. Devil is a glutton.
The lives of a man, a cat, and a goldfish intersect in unexpected ways.
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
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