Tag Archives: Czech

Frantisek Vlácil – Albert (1985)

A poor but great violinist is invited to stay at an aristocrat’s house. It is based on a short story by Lev Nikolaevic Tolstoj. Read More »

Zbynek Brynych – Transport z raje aka Transport From Paradise (1963)

Synopsis:
Transport from Paradise is set in an unusual World War II concentration camp. The lax Nazi guards permit their Jewish prisoners to roam freely about the camp and conduct their own business and social affairs, without the threat of instant extermination looming over their heads. The prisoners’ main fear is that they may at any moment be shipped off to one of the death camps. In the film’s incredibly heartbreaking climax, a group of prisoners willingly board a train to Auschwitz, laboring under the delusion that they are being sent to another “paradise” camp at the behest of the Council of Jewish Elders. Though it stretches credibility at times, Transport from Paradise is purportedly based on a true story. Read More »

Lucie Belohradská – Specialita séfkuchare AKA Specialty of the House (2000)

Quote:
Mr. Laffler (Jiří Lábus) is strange. Everyone in the office he runs knows that. The clerk, Costain, (Lukáš Hlavica) also knows this, so he is very surprised when his otherwise impersonal boss does something as human as inviting Costain to dinner. But not at home. At home, he says, he does not accept guests. He leads him to an inconspicuous, secluded restaurant U Sbirra, where a very closed company of strange people meet. Read More »

Otakar Vávra – Kladivo na carodejnice AKA Witches’ Hammer (1970)

Quote:
The time is the seventeenth century. The beggar Maryna Schuchová hides the Host in her scarf at the Communion. She admits to the parish priest Schmidt that she intended to give it to the midwife Groerová to heal her ailing cow. The young priest declares her a witch and convinces the Sumperk countess De Galle to summon the inquisitor Boblig from Edelstadt. This failed student of law sees the offer as a great opportunity. He uses torture and threats to force the women from the to testify to their meetings with the devil and learn by heart the lies he has made up for the inquisition tribunal. Boblig accuses the wealthy burghers of witchcraft as well, and so wants to seize their possessions. Read More »

Vera Chytilová – Panelstory aneb Jak se rodí sídliste AKA Panelstory – Or Birth of A Community (1980)

Quote:
An old man is wandering round a badly signposted and as yet mostly under construction Prague housing estate looking for the high rise block into which he is supposed to be moving with his daughter’s family. The old granddad from the countryside likes chatting, nothing escapes his eyes and he wants to give everyone a helping hand. Read More »

Jaromil Jires – Mladý muz a bílá velryba AKA The Young Man and Moby Dick (1979)

Viktor is a prime example of passivity, he “lives as if he had everything already behind him”. Břéťa is a “charged solar battery, that keeps on charging energy”. Between these two men there enters a woman, Edita, who is uncompromisingly career oriented. Read More »

Milos Forman – Horí, má panenko AKA The Firemen’s Ball (1967)

Quote:
A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Milos Forman’s first color film The Firemen’s Ball (Horí, má panenko) is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen’s ball where nothing goes right—from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was “banned forever” in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman’s move to America. Read More »