Jirí Menzel – Postriziny AKA Cutting It Short (1981)

80%20Pistek%20Postriziny Jirí Menzel   Postriziny AKA Cutting It Short (1981)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jirí Menzel   Postriziny AKA Cutting It Short (1981)

Quote:
Short Cut is a comedy revealed more in the acting and witty dialogue than in the simple premise of the story itself: how the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal was born. Actually, the story is, in many ways, the writer’s conception. The setting is a small town where Hrabal’s father Francine (Jiri Schmitzer) is in charge of a large brewery. Both the blessing and bane of his life is his gorgeous wife Marja (Magda Vasaryova). Blessing, because she is not only beautiful but resourceful and intelligent and lively, bane because every other man would like to get to know her better. Marja saves the day more than once, and the couple are happy in their life together. When Francine’s brother arrives for a visit, an attraction starts to develop between Marja and her brother-in-law that may have upset the marriage, were it not for a fortuitous accident. Marja sprains her ankle and her husband is “forced” to take care of her – alone. Soon after, the town gets their first radio and life takes a permanent turn for a faster lane. Marja cuts her long, blonde tresses and dons a short skirt which mortifies her husband, until he learns they are going to have a baby. It is 1916 and Hrabal is on the way. The comedy will one day continue as he goes from gestation to adulthood and discovers his writing talents at the age of 48. Coupled with the Czech director Jiri Menzel, Hrabal’s comedic writing finds a kindred cinematic spirit. This film won a Jury Prize at the 1981 Venice Film Festival. Continue reading

Jirí Menzel – Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále aka I Served the King of England (2006)

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29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jirí Menzel   Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále aka I Served the King of England (2006)

Synopsis:

While serving the cream of Prague society, humble waiter, Jan Díte (Ivan Barnev) dreams of owning his own hotel and becoming a millionaire. Full of desire and ambition, he hustles his way towards his dream. But getting a fortune and keeping it are two different things. Directed by celebrated Czech director Jirí Menzel and set in German occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II, I served the King of England (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále) is a bitter-sweet comedy exploring the gradual maturing of an ambitious man who, suddenly in love and guided by stupidity rather than opportunism, finds himself on the side of the occupying power. Continue reading

Jirí Menzel – Ostre sledované vlaky aka Closely Watched Trains [Extras] (1966)

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29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jirí Menzel   Ostre sledované vlaky aka Closely Watched Trains [Extras] (1966)

“The entire town knows that I want to be a train dispatcher for the simple reason that I don’t want to do anything?just like my ancestors?but stand on the platform with a signal disc and avoid any hard work, while others have to drudge and toil.” – Milos Hrma

Director Jiri Menzel made an auspicious feature film debut with his 1966 Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledovane vlaky), claiming only the second ever Best Foreign Language Film Oscar? won by a Czechoslovakian, following Jan Kadar’s The Shop on Main Street (Obchod na korze), which took the first, two years earlier. A graduate of the Czech film school FAMU, Menzel was instrumental the the 1960s Czech New Wave, both as a director and as an actor in films by his contemporaries. His films focus on the “nobody,” examining the paradoxes that make up the common man, with a wry wit and tragic humor; but unlike some of his fellow graduates such as Jan Nemec, Milos Forman, and Ivan Passer, his tone was much less cynical. His film career was suspended in 1969 after the Soviet invasion, and Menzel was forbidden from making films until 1975, when he was forced to renounce the “mistakes” of earlier films. The cause, his Larks on a String (Skrivanci na niti) and its anti-communist theme, was banned by the authorities for 21 years. Menzel would come to the attention of the Academy again in 1985 with another Best Foreign Language Film nomination for My Sweet Little Village (Vesnicko ma stoediskova). Continue reading

Jirí Menzel – Slavnosti snezenek AKA Snowdrop celebrations (1983)

1130075532 big Jirí Menzel   Slavnosti snezenek AKA Snowdrop celebrations (1983)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jirí Menzel   Slavnosti snezenek AKA Snowdrop celebrations (1983)

Acclaimed Czech director Jiri Menzel has pulled off another successful collaboration with writer Bohumil Hrabal in this light, sometimes saucy farce about two warring hunting factions in a small village and how they end up in a rousing, comic showdown. The village community is made up of a broad spectrum of eccentrics, from the farmer who escorts his goats to pasture in an old Pontiac car, to the sign painters who put up their handiwork slogans in the most unlikely places; there is humor enough for everyone. Then one day three hunters from one faction chase after a boar they found in the woods, and the wounded animal runs into a schoolhouse for refuge. Since the schoolhouse is in neutral territory, it becomes the scene for a reckoning between the two hunting factions. The upshot is a wild time in the local pub — with some unexpected consequences. Continue reading

Jirí Menzel – Vesnicko má stredisková AKA My Sweet Little Village (1985)

2y7g Jirí Menzel   Vesnicko má stredisková AKA My Sweet Little Village (1985)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jirí Menzel   Vesnicko má stredisková AKA My Sweet Little Village (1985)

Jiri Menzel of Closely Watched Trains fame directed the sweet little Czechoslovakian comedy/drama My Sweet Little Village. The life’s blood of the titular community is a collective farm. Marian Labuda is the farm’s truck driver, and also the
partner-protector of Janos Ban, who is the village idiot. Like everyone else in the village, Labuda has watched out for Ban and covered up his mistakes, but in recent weeks the situation has become intolerable and Labuda demands a new partner. As Ban prepares to be relocated to Prague, we cut away to various subplots, all of which lead to the same conclusion: the hapless Ban has always been the “glue” that has held the community together. A contrite Labuda heads for Prague to invite Ban to come back home. Originally titled Vesnicko Ma Stediskova, My Sweet Little Village was a 1986 Academy Award “best foreign-language picture” nominee.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Jirí Menzel – Rozmarné léto AKA Capricious Summer (1968)

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29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jirí Menzel   Rozmarné léto AKA Capricious Summer (1968)

AMG Synopsis:
The Czechoslovakian Capricious Summer is based on a novel by Vladislav Vancura. The plot focuses on three middle-aged vacationers at a summer resort. The tourist’s plans for rest and relaxation are messed up when a circus tightrope walker and his toothsome daughter arrive on the scene. Director Jiri Menzel (the man responsible for the international success Closely Watched Trains) appears as the circus performer. A valentine to lost innocence, Capricious Summer won the Grand Prix at Karlovy Vary, an East European film festival. Continue reading

Jirí Menzel – Na samote u lesa AKA Seclusion Near a Forest (1976)

w2n2 Jirí Menzel   Na samote u lesa AKA Seclusion Near a Forest (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jirí Menzel   Na samote u lesa AKA Seclusion Near a Forest (1976)

Jiri Menzel was still treading very warily after five years in the political doghouse. Skilfully avoiding any sort of dangerous involvements or interpretations, this is a featherweight comedy about the rural hazards encountered by a city family when they rent a summer cottage with a view to permanence. Not least of their problems, especially since they want to start renovations in a hurry, is the obstinate presence of the ancient peasant owner, who has changed his mind about selling up and going to live with his family. There’s not a lot to it, but with exquisite camerawork casting a shimmering summery haze over his characteristically delicate blend of tenderness and humour in observing human foibles, Menzel transforms the film into a magical invocation of a lost, simpler and more leisurely world. Continue reading

pixel Jirí Menzel   Na samote u lesa AKA Seclusion Near a Forest (1976)