Eduard Grecner – Drak sa vracia AKA The Return of Dragon [+ Extra] (1968)

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Synopsis:

A ballad of love, hatred, and desire to escape from loneliness. The story of a reclusive potter, who returns, years after being shunned by his village.

The story is a simple one, set in medieval times, in a small village near the Tatra mountain range bordering Slovakia and Poland. Where a potter named Martin Lepiš (Czech actor Radovan Lukavský, perfectly cast here in the role of an outsider), whom the villagers refer to as Dragon, returns, several years after he was wrongfully driven away for crimes he did not commit. He comes back not for revenge or any motive other than to simply live his old life in peace. However his former fiancée Eva (Emília Vášáryová, wonderfully expressive in an almost silent role), is now married, and her new husband Simon (Gustav Valach) and the other villagers, are suspicious of Dragon’s intentions. Is there anything he can do to gain acceptance and respect, or is it a hopeless cause? Continue reading

Jan Sverák – Kolja AKA Kolya (1996)

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Synopsis:

Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady’s man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing at funerals and painting tombstones. But he has run up a large debt, and when his friend, the grave-digger Mr. Broz, suggests a scheme for making a lot of money by marrying a Russian woman so that she can get her Czech papers, he reluctantly agrees. She takes advantage of the situation to emigrate to West Germany, to her lover; and leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother; when the grandmother dies, Kolya must come and live with his stepfather – Louka. Continue reading

Vera Chytilová – Sedmikrásky AKA Daisies (1966) (HD)

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Description:

Two teenage girls, both named Marie, decide that since the world is spoiled they will be spoiled as well; accordingly they embark on a series of destructive pranks in which they consume and destroy the world about them. This freewheeling, madcap feminist farce was immediately banned by the government. Continue reading

Zdenek Viktora – Raluca (2014)

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Former cop Filip Marold (Jan Dolanský) doesn’t want to be reminded of some things from his past. But others remind him… He works as a private detective, sleeps with his secretary and spies on people for money. All up to the moment when he meets seductive Raluca (Malvína Pachlová) and his life turns upside down. Is it just a coincidence? Fate? Or has someone set a trap? Even in his wildest dreams he wouldn’t imagine the things that were about to happen. Things that involve sex, murder, the big reveal and a harsh reminder of that damn past… Continue reading

Frantisek Vlácil – Dým bramborové nate AKA Smoke on the Potato Fields [+extras] (1977)

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Synopsis:

In this 1976 character study by Czech director Frantisek Vlacil, a stout middle-aged physician whose marriage has come apart (Rudolf Hrusinsky) establishes a practice in a small town. Gradually he’s drawn into the lives of his patients—a childless couple, a pregnant girl with a stern mother, the son of a duck farmer—and each relationship reveals a bit more about him and the idyllic but insular community. Vlacil is hardly known for his light touch, but the film’s austere look and elegiac chamber music, at times Bressonian in their severity, convey the doctor’s quest for fulfillment and peace of mind. Hrusinsky, who was blacklisted in Czechoslovakia for his anticommunist stance, ennobles his role by underplaying it. Continue reading