Jan Nemec

  • Jan Nemec – V žáru královské lásky AKA In the Light of the King’s Love (1990)

    Postmodernistic version of the grotesque and blasphemic novel The Sufferings of Prince Sternenhoch by czech anarchistic and subjectiv-idealistic philosopher Ladislav Klima (1878-1928) transposed into reality of the Prague 1989. The visual look of the film is credited by painter Michael Rittstein, a representative of the Czech grotesque. The film instead of the Prince’s headquarters takes place on the television transmitter, the main role is played by Czech punk-rock star Vilem Cok. The film is full of blasphemy, allusions to pornography and aesthetics of decay and kitsch. For Jan Nemec meant the project return to the Czech film, but also in his time shocking failure – Czech society was not ready for such hyperbole.Read More »

  • Jan Nemec – Jmeno kodu: Rubin AKA Code Name: Ruby (1997)

    This controversial feature blends documentary, archival footage and fiction into an elliptical narrative in which two young people in Prague, an ancient seat for the practice of alchemy, follow the trail for the mystical philosopher’s stone. History and future blend as brilliant montage sequences and fanciful leaps of the imagination work to posit questions about the legacy of the past and how it influences the individual’s personal freedom and responsibilityRead More »

  • Jan Nemec – Toyen (2005)

    Jan Nemec, a leading filmmaker of the Czech New Wave, creates an original portrait of one of the most provocative artists of the 20th century: Toyen (Marie Cerminova). As a female artist, Toyen broke through the male-dominated art world to create paintings and drawings often erotic in nature. She co-founded the surrealist movement in her native Prague, survived the Nazis and the Communists, maintained artistic and personal relationships with artists Jindrich Heisler (whom she hid during WWII) and Jindrich Styrsky, and was an active member of the French surrealist circle. Toyen is an essay film which mixes archival footage with re-enactments, poems by Toyen, Heisler and Styrsky, and a visual palette and soundscape that penetrate the interior life of this enigmatic and great artist. “Toyen remains a unique way of approaching an artist’s life…” (Peter Hames, Czech and Slovak Cinema).Read More »

  • Jan Nemec – O slavnosti a hostech AKA The Party and the Guests (1966)

    Distinguished as being ‘banned forever’ in its native Czechoslovakia, Nemec’s film is a masterpiece of barbed, darkly sinister wit. As a biting satire of governmental and institutional power and with its astute observations of human nature and conformity, it is a film whose relevance continues to this day.
    Considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, this is its first-ever release on DVD.Read More »

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

    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 directionRead More »

  • Jan Nemec – Oratorio for Prague [+Extra] (1968)

    One of the most powerful documentaries ever made, Oratorio for Prague contains the only footage from the Soviet-led invasion of Prague in 1968. Czech New Wave filmmaker Jan Nĕmec (A Report on the Party and the Guests) began filming with the intention to document Prague Spring, a celebration of the newfound liberalization of Czechoslovakia, but the film’s subject took a dramatic turn when Soviet tanks rolled through the streets. The invasion ended Prague Spring, leaving Nĕmec blacklisted and Oratorio for Prague banned. Read More »

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


    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.Read More »

  • Jan Nemec – Die Verwandlung AKA Metamorphosis (1975)


    Jan Němec’s original proposal in 1966 to adapt Kafka’s Metamorphosis as a theatrical feature was rejected by the Czech state film board. In 1974, he was forced into exile — first seeking refuge in Germany:Read More »

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