Jaromil Jires

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 Read More »

Jaromil Jires – Zert AKA The Joke (1969)

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Possibly the most shattering indictment of totalitarianism to come out of a Communist country, this film was completed just after the Soviet tanks rolled into the streets of Prague in 1968. It is an astonishingly honest and disturbing film not only for its devastating attack on Stalinism, but also for its uncompromising view of the hypocrisy of political turncoats and the opportunistic new middle classes. Chronicling one man’s journey from youthful frivolity through political imprisonment to final awareness, it is a chilling examination of a corrupt society blighted by fear as much as by the cynicism that pays lip-service to ‘humanitarian’ ideals. Read More »

Jaromil Jires – Valerie a týden divu AKA Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

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A girl on the verge of womanhood finds herself in a sensual fantasyland of vampires, witchcraft, and other threats in this eerie and mystical movie daydream. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders serves up an endlessly looping, nonlinear fairy tale, set in a quasi-medieval landscape. Ravishingly shot, enchantingly scored, and spilling over with surreal fancies, this enticing phantasmagoria from director Jaromil Jireš is among the most beautiful oddities of the Czechoslovak New Wave. (Criterion) Read More »

Jaromil Jires – Krik AKA The Cry (1963)

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Synopsis: While a woman is in the hospital preparing to deliver her child, her husband has all day to reflect upon his wife and their relationship. As he tends to his job as a television repairman, Slavek fondly remembers how he first met Ivana and the days they spent getting to know one another. Slavek also grows increasingly aware of the environment that surrounds him and questions the society his new child will be entering. Loaded with a repeated plea for social change, this is the first feature from Czech writer/director Jaromil Jires. (Kristie Hassen, allmovie) Read More »