pearls of the czech new wave
Disc One includes “Pearls of the Deep.” Disc Two has “Daisies” and “A Report on the Party and Guests.” Disc Three stores “Capricious Summer” and “The Joke.” “Return of the Prodigal Son” stands alone on Disc Four. The Czech New Wave was a an unlikely flowering that yielded a colorful and variegated bloom despite having its roots in seemingly infertile soil. “Capricious Summer” (1968) was Menzel’s follow-up to his smash hit “Closely Watched Trains” and it doesn’t have much on the surface to do with the other films I’ve already discussed. Of all the cinematic New Waves that broke over the world in the 1960s, the one in Czechoslovakia was among the most fruitful, fascinating, and radical. A sudden rainstorm ushers in a change in their tranquilly dull existence in the form of a cut-rate magician (played by Menzel, whose magic tricks provide the only slightly surrealist touches in this otherwise realist film) and his gorgeous assistant Anna (Jana Drchalova). Her two teenage protagonists, both named Marie (Jitka Cerhova and Ivana Karbanova), realize that the world is “spoiled” and decide they aren’t going to play by its rules anymore. Though no overt threat is made, the picnickers fall into order with shocking pliancy and are eager to laugh it all off when it’s revealed to be “just a joke” on the part of a nearby patrician who is celebrating his birthday. Get info about new releases, essays and interviews on the Current, Top 10 lists, and sales. Jiri Menzel (who hit Oscar gold later in the year with his debut feature “Closely Watched Trains”) starts the omnibus with a story that cuts from a real-life motorcycle race to a group of onlookers who recount fondly all the various accidents and injuries experienced by their favorite racers, proving that in all cultures that one and only reason to watch men sitting in or on vehicles is the hope that they will crash. Mon-Sat, 9:30am - 4:00pm The set combines better-known works like “Daisies” with harder-to-find material such as “Capricious Summer” and “Return of the Prodigal Son.” The transfers aren’t pristine, but they’re all solid enough, and the liner notes provide an excellent guide through this crucial and absorbing selection of movies. Menzel doesn’t appear to have any political agenda in this mostly light-hearted story, and I have to admit that much of the humor, at least for me, gets lost in translation. However, each of the discs comes with excellent liner notes by Michael Koresky. Unsurprisingly, both films wound up being censored. This allegory about oppression and conformity was banned in its home country but became an international success after it premiered at the New York Film Festival. The Czech New Wave was a an unlikely flowering that yielded a colorful and variegated bloom despite having its roots in seemingly infertile soil. Maybe the New Wave’s most anarchic entry, Věra Chytilová’s absurdist farce follows the misadventures of two brash young women. All images property of their respective owners. “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour–his greatest fulfillment …, Director Chris Brown’s superb documentary “High Ground” follows a team …, PEARLS OF THE CZECH NEW WAVE: ECLIPSE SERIES 32 – DVD Review, Harry Potter movies in order of greats and faves, Listing the Twilight movies in order of interests, 10 Awkward Teen Romantic Movies like Flipped. Believing the world to be “spoiled,” they embark on a series of pranks in which nothing—food, clothes, men, war—is taken seriously. So even though there are six films on the four discs in this set, you don’t have to feel too intimidated by the scope of it all, and the variety of these experimental but still-accessible features is impressive. Nemec and Chytilova also contribute segments which are, respectively, bittersweet and utterly baffling. Evald Schorm was one of the most politically outspoken of the Czech New Wave filmmakers. All of the films are presented with Dolby Digital Mono tracks. Though working a similar vibe as Chytilova, Nemec shows the other end of the power struggle, or rather the lack thereof. Surrealism is also the operant term to describe Jan Nemec’s “A Report on the Party and Guests” (1966). The film culminates in a sequence in which the Maries sneak in early to a massive feast and decide to sample bits and pieces of every food item laid out on the sprawling table, and once they’re full they fling the food at each other. Of course, Communist state-run film programs have produced some of the greatest films of all-time, but what made the Czech New Wave so peculiar was its decidedly obstinate nature. This is definitely a mini-film education in a box. This event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of the Czech New Wave’s “manifesto” film, Pearls of the Deep (Perličky na dne). Though most of the New Wave directors were trained at FAMU, the … Meanwhile Criterion dipped into some of the more famous films of the period like Loves of a Blonde, Closely Watched Trains, and The Shop on Main Street, but things get really interesting with the ir Pearls of the Czech New Wave box set under their Eclipse label. Daisies is an aesthetically and politically adventurous film that’s widely considered one of the great works of feminist cinema.
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