Tag Archives: Vlastimil Brodský

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 »

Vojtech Jasný – Az prijde kocour AKA The Cassandra Cat (1963)

Quote:
Some people with a strange cat arrive in a small village. The cat wears glasses, and when someone takes them off, she can colour people, according to their nature and mood. The grown-ups of the village consider the cat to be dangerous, but the kids just love her… Read More »

Zdenek Podskalský – Bílá paní AKA The White Lady (1965)

Synopsis:
This castle has its own ghost – a mysterious White lady. She emerges from the painting on the wall when someone speaks out magic formula. White lady is a good ghost, she can make someone’s wishes true. Even if it is a new duct. But a miracle is not the thing that Communist leaders want in the town. Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Skrivánci na niti AKA Larks on a String [+Extra] (1969)

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Long-Repressed Tale of Repression
The junk heap to which the characters of “Larks on a String” are consigned is a kind of paradise. Here, in the early 1950’s, former members of Czechoslovakia’s banished bourgeoisie are nominally engaged in forced labor, but in fact are free to play cards, discuss philosophy, joke sardonically about their situation and languish as they choose.

The men in this group — among them a professor who refused to destroy decadent Western literature, a saxophonist whose very instrument was considered an offense against the state and a lawyer who upheld the radical idea that a defendant ought to be allowed to plead his case — also spend a lot of time trading secret smiles and sidelong glances with a group of female prisoners nearby. The women, dressed in drably functional uniforms, nonetheless manage to look nymphlike as they laugh and frolic and hum little tunes. The setting is bleak and the season unspecified, but in spirit, it might as well be spring. Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Ostre sledované vlaky AKA Closely Watched Trains (1966)

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Quote:
“The entire town knows that I want to be a train dispatcher for the simple reason that I don’t want to do anything?just like my ancestors?but stand on the platform with a signal disc and avoid any hard work, while others have to drudge and toil.” – Milos Hrma Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Rozmarné léto AKA Capricious Summer (1968)

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AMG Synopsis:
The Czechoslovakian Capricious Summer is based on a novel by Vladislav Vancura. The plot focuses on three middle-aged vacationers at a summer resort. The tourist’s plans for rest and relaxation are messed up when a circus tightrope walker and his toothsome daughter arrive on the scene. Director Jiri Menzel (the man responsible for the international success Closely Watched Trains) appears as the circus performer. A valentine to lost innocence, Capricious Summer won the Grand Prix at Karlovy Vary, an East European film festival. Read More »