After coming home from a Party gathering one night, a Czechoslovakian official becomes convinced that he is about to be the subject of a political purge and tries to do damage control, while also dealing with his turbulent marriage.
Two Jewish boys escape from a train transporting them from one concentration camp to another. The film goes beyond the themes of war and anti-Nazism and concerns itself with man's struggle to preserve human dignity.
Ondrej, a young boy who loves bees and bats, is introduced to his new mother, a woman much younger than his father. He brings her a basketful of flowers which she starts to throw in the air... See full summary »
Oldrich "Fajolo" Fajták (Marián Bielik), a student who directs quasi-existentialist verbal abuse at his girlfriend Bela Blazejová (Jana Beláková), takes off to a formally volunteer summer work camp at a farm where he meets her grandfather.
A grim portrayal of the shift from Paganism to Christianity in medieval Czechoslovakia - as a young virgin promised to God is kidnapped and raped by a marauder who her religious father seeks to kill in return.
After school, thirteen-year old Jitka likes to wander alone through Prague. The brisk girl also likes to sneak around the backyards surrounding the block of flats where she lives. One day, ... See full summary »
One of the most important images of the Czech New Wave 60s, which was ranked among the top ten domestic films of all time. Feature debut screenwriter and director Ivan Passer is currently ... See full summary »
It is the spring 1945 and the front line is getting closer to the small Moravian village of Nesovice. Twelve-year old Oldrich Vareka, nicknamed Shorty for his tiny stature, observes the ... See full summary »
This movie about a Czech widow escorting two soldiers of the Reich on a coach to Vienna as she plots her revenge is a bright example of the breach with visual narrative I value in the best of New Wave films, of the peeling back of established rules to reveal new ways of making cinema, the disassociation of the common rules of stagebound studio filmmaking, the possibilities of discovery created by a curious roaming camera.
If you're inclined to read the enormity of nature, deserts or forests, as existential playgrounds, the movie will give you ample opportunity. Karel Kachyna plays out a nightmare poem of innocence plucked from the stem, of lives torn asunder by guilt and desperation, and with the progression of this journey through a sunless forest that never seems to end he sketches in clear pencil strokes how the madness of war creates moral conundrums punishing for the soul.
I come to this mostly for the pleasure of a freewheeling cinema, but the viewer who values the faith restoring pathos of classicist cinema, Dick's change of heart in Casablanca, will be graced with a soaring finale. How much the finale will resonate with the viewer, or crush him, boils down to that. Me, I view this mode as more a reflection of a storytelling demand for catharsis than a reflection of a true world, an affirmation of the expected rather than a breach with it, so in the context of this films I'm left a little indifferent to it.
A fascinating small touch for me, is when the soldier hears bells ringing from afar and leaps for joy, confident the bloodshed has finally ended. But is that so, the film never lets out.
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