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


Fed up with the daily hassle in the urban Prague, Oldrich Lavička, his wife and their children Zuzana and Petr decide to buy a summerhouse in a rural place, for the weekends. They reach an agreement with the 70-year old owner of the house, Komárek, to rent the place while he is suppose to move away and live with his son. The Lavička family encounters the rural life: a goat eats their cakes, villagers all wonder how can they sleep for so long while they encounter a flea plague. In the end, however, Komárek decides to stay in the house.

Jiri Menzel’s 6th feature length film is another good Czech comedy, “Seclusion Near a Forest”, that gives an ironic commentary about the shift between the rural and urban life. Working with fine actors, surrounded by rural landscapes, Menzel crafted another comical contribution to his opus, and it seems he did not have any ambitions in rising the movie above anything more than it is, a simple, relaxed and fun story. The screenplay by Ladislav Smoljak and actor Sverak achieves the most of its humor thanks to observations and shrill dialogues (the old Komarek and Hruška exchange these lines while in a company at a table: “I always managed to beat you up!” – “Today you wouldn’t.” – “But in the past, I always managed to beat you up, you cannot deny that.” – “Today you wouldn’t anymore!” – “That’s it, hands up!”; father, who cannot wait anymore until Komarek moves out of the prestigious house, tries to use “euphemism” to cover that feeling while talking with his daughter who is writing about it for school: “Mr. Komarek is good, but he is bothering us…” – “You cannot write that.” – “All right, then I will write that Mr. Komarek is good because he will leave soon.” – “You cannot write that either. How can you write that he is good because he will leave soon? Just write that he is good. That is true.” – “But he is also bothering us, that is also true.”), yet one must also point out the refreshingly relaxed tone of the storyline, besides which not much was needed to charm the viewers anyway.

1.27GB | 1h 31mn | 765×574 | mkv


Subtitles:English (idx, sub)

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