Noční hovory s matkou is Jan Němec’s stylized autobiography, in an open, confessional style. He talks to characters such as his mother, an eye doctor, his ex-wife Ester Krumbachová, and his friend, a film director named Pavel Juráček, all of whom have passed away. During the way through Prague, from Vaclavské náměstí to a crematorium he recalls his life and his friends.
More cinematic confession than documentary, this captivating, innovative film diary finds Czech New Wave director Jan Nemec attempting to unravel the threads of a difficult relationship with his deceased mother. In an imaginary dialogue with her, Nemec effectively interweaves episodes from his personal life with major events of the 20th century. Inspired by Kafka’s Letter to My Father, this is “an artistic and technical tour de force” (Cineaste) Continue reading
One of the defining works of the Czech New Wave was the portmanteau film Pearls from the Deep (Perlicky na dne, 1965). Not only did it bring five key directors of the Wave (Chytilova, Jires, Menzel, Nemec and Schorm) together in one film, making it the Wave’s official “coming out” as a group, but it tied them to a writer, Bohumil Hrabal, whose ability to capture the rhythms and refrains of everyday spoken Czech was highly influential on the Wave’s direction.
Jiri Menzel (Closely Watched Trains), Jaromil Jires (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders), and three other directors from the 1960′s Czechoslovak New Wave contribute witty, entertaining shorts, each based on a different story by legendary writer Bohumil Hrabal. The anthology showcases the groundbreaking styles and bold new themes of a new cinematic era. These young directors took advantage of a more liberal political climate to make films that were daring in both content and style. Includes Mr. Baltazar (Jiri Menzel), The Swindlers (Jan Nemec), House of Joy (Evald Schorm), The Globe Buffet (Vera Chytilova), and Romance (Jaromil Jires). Continue reading