Vera Chytilová

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 »

Vera Chytilova – Hra o jablko aka The Apple Game (1976)

Since he works many hours in the maternity ward of a Czech hospital, the comic couplings of a young doctor take place in whatever out-of-the way spots he can find. Sometimes he has a few free hours, and he takes his women to a secluded spot. Some of these spots have become legends: once he took his girl to a junkyard, and their lovemaking became the object of attention of a horde of workers poised on cranes in any spot they could find. His two primary loves are the wife of the head of the clinic and one of the nurses there. When he discovers that he is falling in love with the nurse, he proposes marriage, but she is much too independent to put up with the likes of him for long – even if she is pregnant with his child. Read More »

Vera Chytilova – Kopytem sem, kopytem tam AKA A Hoof Here, a Hoof There (1988)

A cautionary tale about the dangers of unprotected promiscuity among heterosexuals, this story chronicles the exploits of three good friends. Pepe is the playboy of the bunch: despite having a lovely girlfriend, he finds a way to have sex with as many women as possible. His buddies from time to time exchange girlfriends with him. Though they are by no means the lothario he is, they do quite enough bed-hopping to get into trouble. When it becomes obvious that Pepe has gotten AIDS, his buddies, afraid for themselves, get mean. Read More »

Vera Chytilová – Vyhnání z ráje aka Expulsion From Paradise (2001)



Description:
Rostislav sitting on the beach with friend Peter philosophize about who is he – a creation of God or the Devil. Their conversation is interrupted by a naked man from a nearby nudist beach “Paradise”, which is looking for a doctor. At this point it appears that the doctor is both an experimental film’s director. Read More »

Vera Chytilová – Ovoce stromu rajskych jime aka Fruit of Paradise [+Extras] (1970)

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“The Fruit of Paradise” is a breathtaking experimental film from Vera Chytilova. Well known for her surreal feminist comedy “Daisies” (1966), Chytlova uses many of the same hallucinatory camera tricks for “The Fruit of Paradise”. I used to think that the film “Begotten” was original until I saw the “Fruit of Paradise”. The film’s first 15 minutes is highly psychedelic as it tells the story of creation. There are layers of image on top of image with fast camera cuts. The film almost made my head spin with it’s fast pace, use of color and bizarre experimental sound effects. Then it breaks out into a song about Adam & Eve, which is hauntingly catchy. Now if only I could learn Czech. Then the story of Adam and Eve goes to a modern setting. The devil is portrayed as creepy man of middle age; a persistent stalker and serial killer of women. Eva and her boyfriend go on vacation to a health spa, where they encounter temptation. The devil gets Eva to eat the forbidden fruit. Then the film becomes very comical throughout, as the Devil chases adorable Eva everywhere she goes. Very deep, surreal and philosophical, “The Fruit of Paradise” is another underrated masterpiece to Czech out! Read More »

Vera Chytilová – Pasti, pasti, pasticky AKA Traps (1998)

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From starburstmagazine
For anyone feeling a little squeamish, of vegetarian inclination or just full from a hearty meal, the graphic opening scenes of Traps (or Pasti, Pasti, Pasticky to give its original title) that feature pig castration may prove a little difficult to stomach. These images also feel burned into your retina somehow; a poignant, pre-emptive piece of filmmaking that becomes disturbingly relevant later in the film. For Czech new wave director Vera Chytilovà, filmmaking was a mission. She became a dominant force in the industry and was often described as a militant feminist, although she preferred the term individualist. Traps bears many of the hallmarks that justify both these labels, and even now remains both boldly ambitious and deeply flawed. Read More »

Vera Chytilová – Strop AKA Ceiling (1962)

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Vera Chytilova’s fascinating 1962 film-school thesis is a protofeminist meditation on the fashion industry that draws on Chytilova’s experience as a model. The storytelling is a bit clumsy, arbitrarily juxtaposing scenes of the protagonist posing at a photo shoot and awkwardly interacting with some young men in a cafe. But many of the images ring emotionally true, even those that have since become cliches—like the sequence in which she wanders the street at night staring at shop window mannequins. The film’s best scene—of the model standing on the runway while the audience whirls vertiginously about—evokes the vacuous instability of a self that exists only in the gaze of others. Read More »