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

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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

Vera Chytilová, Jaromil Jires, Jiri Menzel, Jan Nemec & Evald Schorm – Perlicky na dne aka Pearls Of The Deep (1966)

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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