Vera Chytilová

  • Vera Chytilová – Sedmikrásky AKA Daisies (1966)

    1961-1970Amos Vogel: Film as a Subversive ArtArthouseCzech RepublicExperimentalVera Chytilová

    If the entire world is bad, why shouldn’t we be? Adopting this insolent attitude as their guiding philosophy, a pair of hedonistic young women (Ivana Karbanová and Jitka Cerhová), both named Marie, embark on a gleefully debauched odyssey of gluttony, giddy destruction, and antipatriarchal resistance, in which nothing is safe from their nihilistic pursuit of pleasure. But what happens when the fun is over? Matching her anarchic message with an equally radical aesthetic, director Věra Chytilová, with the close collaboration of cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera, unleashes an optical storm of fluctuating film stocks, kaleidoscopic montages, cartoonish stop-motion cutouts, and surreal costumes designed by Ester Krumbachová, who also cowrote the script. The result is Daisies, the most defiant provocation of the Czechoslovak New Wave, an exuberant call to rebellion aimed squarely at those who uphold authoritarian oppression in any form.Read More »

  • Vera Chytilová – Chytilova Versus Forman (1982)

    Vera Chytilová1981-1990BelgiumDocumentary

    In the early sixties, Vera Chytilova and Milos Forman were follow students at the Prague film school. Both were part of the Czech New Wave. Then Forman went to live and work in Hollywood, his colleague remaining in Europe.

    The two had not been seen each other for ten years when they meet again for this portrait. The confrontational aspect is stressed by the title, after all their two careers could not be more different. Forman became one of the Hollywood Greats, whereas his compatriot aimed for something more subtle, closer to the cinema of discovery and experimentation. It is this clash between two often diametrically opposed filmic conceptions which here takes centre stage.Read More »

  • Vera Chytilová – TGM Osvoboditel AKA Tomas Garrigue Masaryk a Liberator (1990)

    1981-1990Czech RepublicDocumentaryPoliticsVera Chytilová

    Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was the first President of Czechoslovakia (1918-1935), independence movement leader and philosopher. After the Velvet Revolution, Chytilová turns to Masaryk to ensure some continuity between her country’s past and present.Read More »

  • Vera Chytilová – Pátrání po Ester AKA In Search of Ester (2005)

    2001-2010ArthouseCzech RepublicDocumentaryVera Chytilová

    Ester Krumbachová – an artist, screenwriter, director, one of the most important names of the Czech New Wave. She worked for the theatre, wrote, illustrated. She was in the middle of the artistic life in Prague in the sixties. The director Věra Chytilová asks those who knew Ester Krumbachová, cooperated with her, were her friends, loved her. She puts together a picture of an inspiring person. She starts a search which should end with the answer to the question: Who was Ester? Evening with the presence of the film authors.Read More »

  • Vera Chytilová – Kalamita AKA Calamity (1982)

    1981-1990Czech RepublicDramaRomanceVera Chytilová

    As with Chytilová’s other work, the story of a young train driver was the result of compromises the director had won in defiance of Barrandov’s dramaturges. The studio had offered her the project as there was little interest in the material in view of the tough winter exterior shoot. The director rewrote Josef Šilhavý’s screenplay, turning a ‘consolidation’ story of university students finding a new meaning of life among railway workers into a bitterly amusing parable about contemporary Czechoslovakia. This meant the film’s production faced dangers not only from the unpredictable elements but also censorship and studio pressure.Read More »

  • Vera Chytilová – Faunovo velmi pozdní odpoledne AKA The Very Late Afternoon of a Faun (1983)

    1981-1990ArthouseComedyCzech RepublicVera Chytilová

    The strains of Debussy’s “Afternoon of a Faun” waft through this amusing comedy about an aging lecher’s ever-optimistic pursuit of the fair sex, for fair sex, or better. The “faun” wakes up to a new day of happy hunting because the proof of the pudding is irrelevant, it is the joy of finding the ingredients that matters. Whether out on the streets or at his job in an office, he does not relent in his hopeful approaches to mainly young women, who mainly ignore him. No one is more aware of his skirt-chasing than an older companion in the same office who has loved him from the beginning. And the big question is, will the late-blooming Don Juan come to his senses?Read More »

  • Vera Chytilová – Praha – neklidne srdce Evropy (1984)

    1981-1990Czech RepublicDocumentaryVera Chytilová

    Documentary essay from famous Czech director Vera Chytilova. History and present of magic city in the heart of Europe. People and Time in new context.
    Film was produced within series of documentaries about great European cities by eyes of great directors.Read More »

  • Vera Chytilová – O necem jinem AKA Something Different (1963)

    Vera Chytilová1961-1970Czech RepublicDrama

    Two stories are simultaneously told. One dutiful mother progressively becomes a frustrated woman who is the only one assuming the family responsibilities of working at home and looking after her only son, whereas her husband works all day, does not appreciate his wife’s efforts and the only thing he does by the time he gets home is to read the newspaper and watch soccer matches. On the other hand, a female gymnast prepares for her last competition before her career retirement, but faces pressure from her trainer and a lack of motivation to keep going. The film depicts frustration on both sides, and parallels two worlds dominated by men, where women do not receive any recognition, and in case they do, it is momentary.Read More »

  • Vera Chytilová – Sasek a kralovna aka The Jester and the Queen (1988) 

    Comedy1981-1990Czech RepublicFantasyVera Chytilová

    Boleslav Polivika stars as Slach the Jester in this metaphorical comedy fantasy. Slach is the caretaker of an abandoned Bohemian castle that is rented out to wealthy visitors during deer-hunting season. The German Konig (Jiri Kodet) and his French fiance Regina (Chantal Poulainova) arrive with flair in a white Mercedes. Slach imagines himself as a medieval court jester while the local villagers regard him as a simple buffoon. He imagines that Konig is the King and Regina the Queen, and Slach is seductively drawn to the Queen and does her bidding until she orders a beheading. Scenes shift between the present and the medieval court of the increasingly sadistic Queen. The gifted actor and playwright Polivika has parlayed his theatrical role into a successful film to make this one of the most popular of Czech features in 1988. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie GuideRead More »

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