Tag Archives: Jirí Menzel

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 »

Jirí Menzel – Vesnicko má stredisková AKA My Sweet Little Village (1985)

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Jiri Menzel of Closely Watched Trains fame directed the sweet little Czechoslovakian comedy/drama My Sweet Little Village. The life’s blood of the titular community is a collective farm. Marian Labuda is the farm’s truck driver, and also the
partner-protector of Janos Ban, who is the village idiot. Like everyone else in the village, Labuda has watched out for Ban and covered up his mistakes, but in recent weeks the situation has become intolerable and Labuda demands a new partner. As Ban prepares to be relocated to Prague, we cut away to various subplots, all of which lead to the same conclusion: the hapless Ban has always been the “glue” that has held the community together. A contrite Labuda heads for Prague to invite Ban to come back home. Originally titled Vesnicko Ma Stediskova, My Sweet Little Village was a 1986 Academy Award “best foreign-language picture” nominee.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Read More »

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

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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 direction Read More »

Vera Chytilova – Hra o jablko aka The Apple Game (1976)

Since he works many hours in the maternity ward of a Czech hospital, the comic couplings of a young doctor take place in whatever out-of-the way spots he can find. Sometimes he has a few free hours, and he takes his women to a secluded spot. Some of these spots have become legends: once he took his girl to a junkyard, and their lovemaking became the object of attention of a horde of workers poised on cranes in any spot they could find. His two primary loves are the wife of the head of the clinic and one of the nurses there. When he discovers that he is falling in love with the nurse, he proposes marriage, but she is much too independent to put up with the likes of him for long – even if she is pregnant with his child. Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Postriziny AKA Cutting It Short (1981)

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Short Cut is a comedy revealed more in the acting and witty dialogue than in the simple premise of the story itself: how the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal was born. Actually, the story is, in many ways, the writer’s conception. The setting is a small town where Hrabal’s father Francine (Jiri Schmitzer) is in charge of a large brewery. Both the blessing and bane of his life is his gorgeous wife Marja (Magda Vasaryova). Blessing, because she is not only beautiful but resourceful and intelligent and lively, bane because every other man would like to get to know her better. Marja saves the day more than once, and the couple are happy in their life together. When Francine’s brother arrives for a visit, an attraction starts to develop between Marja and her brother-in-law that may have upset the marriage, were it not for a fortuitous accident. Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Na samote u lesa AKA Seclusion Near a Forest (1976)

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The story of a Prague family who decides to buy a country cottage, but also with a “grandfather”, the original owner. He currently rents one room to them and promises to sell the whole house later. However, the sale itself is constantly postponed, so the eager Praguers are forced to live with him on weekends and holidays…

From the confrontation of people from the city and the rural environment, the authors Zdeněk Svěrák and Ladislav Smoljak were able to benefit from a number of unforgettable comedic situations, and at the same time very aptly describe the phenomenon of cottage farming, which spread in the 1970s. Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Zlocin v santanu aka Crime in a Music Hall [+Extras] (1968)

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Description: Black detective comedy Crime in the Cabaret is set in a cabaret Tartaros, where one evening lost a pearl necklace singer Regina Clara gave her devoted admirer of the minister of justice, and where it is later killed by one of the circus … The film shot in 1968, Jiri Menzel as his third feature film with a script, which collaborated with Joseph Škvoreckým and Jiri Suchy. An important part of the movie are the songs of George and Šlitr George Suchy, which in addition to the two protagonists sing Eva Pilarová. Read More »