Jana Dítetová

  • Vladimír Cech – Divá Bára AKA Wild Barbara (1949)

    Bára, the daughter of a communal herdsman, is pursued by all the young men from the village. The parents of the village boys are not pleased with this at all, because they believe the superstitious old women who claim that Bára is a daughter of a noonday-witch. The beautiful girl has one friend, Eliška, foster-daughter of the parish priest. The priest also likes Bára and always takes her side. The manorial administrator Sláma is trying to win Eliška, but Eliška loves a student from Prague. Bára decides to frighten Sláma away from his courtship. She disguises herself as a ghost, scares Sláma to death near the graveyard and makes him promise to leave Eliška in peace. But Sláma’s coachman alarms the entire village and they recognize Bára in the ghost.Read More »

  • Jaromil Jires – Zert AKA The Joke (1969)

    In the 1950’s, Ludvik Jahn was expelled from the Communist Party and the University by his fellow students, because of a politically incorrect note he sent to his girlfriend. Fifteen years later, he tries to get his revenge by seducing Helena, the wife of one of his accusers.Read More »

  • Frantisek Vlácil – Dým bramborové nate AKA Smoke on the Potato Fields [+extras] (1977)


    In this 1976 character study by Czech director Frantisek Vlacil, a stout middle-aged physician whose marriage has come apart (Rudolf Hrusinsky) establishes a practice in a small town. Gradually he’s drawn into the lives of his patients—a childless couple, a pregnant girl with a stern mother, the son of a duck farmer—and each relationship reveals a bit more about him and the idyllic but insular community. Vlacil is hardly known for his light touch, but the film’s austere look and elegiac chamber music, at times Bressonian in their severity, convey the doctor’s quest for fulfillment and peace of mind. Hrusinsky, who was blacklisted in Czechoslovakia for his anticommunist stance, ennobles his role by underplaying it.Read More »

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