Tag Archives: Czech

Jan Svankmajer – Otesánek AKA Little Otik (2000)

When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife’s pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than a normal child. Read More »

Jan Svankmajer – Prezít svuj zivot (teorie a praxe) AKA Surviving Life (Theory and Practice) (2010)

Eugene, an aging man, leads a double life: one real – the waking life he spends in the company of his wife of many years, Milana – and the other in his dreams, his sleeping hours being devoted to a recurring evolving dream of a beautiful young woman, Evgenia. Seeking to perpetuate his dream life, he goes to see a psychoanalyst, who attempts to provide an ongoing interpretation of his experiences. On the wall there are portraits of Freud and Jung, which become animated, alternately applauding, disapproving or fighting over her interpretations. The latest film from practising surrealist animator Jan Svankmajer is a mix of cut-out animation from photographs and live action segments, combining real actors with their animated photographs, against black and white backdrops of photographed Czech buildings. Read More »

Jan Svankmajer – Sílení AKA Lunacy (2005)

IMDb wrote:
A man takes up residence with a mysterious marquis and is soon persuaded to enter into an asylum for preventative therapy. Things are not what they seem, and the marquis may be even more sinister than what the young man may’ve predicted.

Quote:
The classic stories of Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis de Sade are filtered through the creative mind of noted surrealist Jan Svankmajer in a philosophical horror film that probes the darkest depths of the human mind. Read More »

Zdenek Tyc – Vojtech, receny sirotek (1990)

There were a lot of movies shot after 1989, the year when communist empire fell down. I am studying film university in Prague and I am working in TV so I focus on all new Czech movies very carefully. Of course everybody remembers Jan Sverak´s recent movies like “Kolya” or “Elementary school” but forgets this hidden masterpiece. This movie tells the story of old conflict between individuality and strong group of people. Extraordinary cinematography is making very tender and natural atmosphere (shot in black and white material)by taking place in the south of Bohemia, where the landscape is full of trees and lakes. Very sensitive direction of non-actors (except main character played by Peter Forman-the son of director Milos Forman)with impressive faces and characters are representatives of collective who hates everything different from their kind of lifestyle. Peter Forman as a strong character tells what he thinks and do what he wants and he is destroyed by them step by step. Do you want to encounter the Czech beauty…look closer. (IMDB review /// Radim Kratochvil) Read More »

Vojtech Jasný – Vsichni dobrí rodáci AKA All My Good Countrymen (1969)

The 1968 Czechoslovakian film All My Good Countrymen (Všichni dobrí rodáci) is a tremendous piece of cinema. It’s the kind of picture one watches on several occasions across a lifetime, both to better understand what it has to say and also to feel more attuned to the culture and history it represents. The film feels epic in scope, despite coming in at under two hours in length, and this is largely because of its focus on a single setting across a dozen or so years, with numerous wonderful and ugly things happening in the interim. Director Vojtech Jasný also wrote it, putting in a decade’s worth of work to make what would become his signature film. It would be the last feature he’d get to direct in his home country for decades, as Jasný was effectively banned from filmmaking as a result. Read More »

Zdenek Viktora – Raluca (2014)

A detective falls in love with a beautiful woman he meets in a bar…

Former cop Filip Marold doesn’t want to be reminded of some things from his past. But others remind him… He works as a private detective, sleeps with his secretary and spies on people for money. All up to the moment when he meets seductive Raluca and his life turns upside down. Is it just a coincidence? Fate? Or has someone set a trap? Even in his wildest dreams he wouldn’t imagine the things that were about to happen. Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Domy z panelu aka Prefabricated Houses (1959)

A student work by Jiří Menzel, filmed during his second year at the FAMU film school. Views of old Prague and its tenement buildings, symbolising the obsolete past, alternate with shots of construction sites for new prefabricated apartment buildings. In spite of certain unavoidable propagandistic overtones added by the director, it is notable as the beginning of his search for a “dramaturgy of colours.” Read More »