Muz z prvního století / Man of the First Century (1962) Oldrich Lipský, Milos Kopecký, Radovan Lukavský, Anita Kajlichova, Comedy, Sci-Fi

muz-z-prvniho-stoleti-aka-man-of-the-first-century-1962
In the near future in Czechoslovakia (the movie was made in 1961, after all), a space flight is in the final stages of preparation. As the astronauts are being interviewed, Joseph the upholsterer (Milos Kopecký) is gluing the last bits of padding in place. Joseph is lazy and incompetent, and always complaining — the classic goof-off who tries to shift blame to anywhere but him. While his supervisor berates him for being behind schedule via the communicator screen in the ship, Joseph manages to kick the takeoff switch and the rocket takes off into space with him as the only passenger.

Next we see Joseph (with a full beard now, apparently to demonstrate that much time has passed) returning home in the ship with an alien companion from the “Blue Star” named Adam (Vít Olmer). The viewer never sees Adam’s home world, but we learn that he has accompanied Joseph home to learn more about the “pattern” of humans. Adam looks exactly like a human except for a slightly larger, hairless cranium. His clothes are very “futuristic”, even more so than those the humans are wearing when they reach Earth. After landing, Adam uses a small handheld device of his to become invisible, the better to observe the humans.

Joseph discovers to his surprise that 500 years have passed. During an interview with the local government administrators and scientists, Joseph is amused then he administrator asks him, “When did socialism come to Luxembourg?”, and he responds, “Socialism? Radio Luxembourg? Oh boy!” In turn, they laugh at him when he asks “Is this the East… or the West?”, with the obvious implication that the East prevailed over the years and everything is now a happy worker’s Socialist paradise: “He IS from the First Century.” Everyone he sees is happy and content, with modern conveniences everywhere and no apparent conflicts anywhere. War appears to be a thing of the past.

Joseph is given a guide (Josef Hlinomaz), a new apartment and access to a machine that can deliver anything a person wants to select from a catalog. Confronted with the ability to fulfill his every desire, he goes wild with gluttony and begins tearing pages from the catalog and feeding them into the machine. Dozens of boxes of “stuff” appear — including a giraffe, which seems to be the ultimate symbol of consumption for its own sake. This begins to make the locals wonder if there’s not something wrong with “The Man from The First Century”, and they decide he’s been infected with “greedyitis”.

Ultimately Joseph is called upon to explain himself, and is interviewed by people from around the world via television. Joseph’s self-importance and lack of knowing anything important, even about his own time, disgusts the assembled viewers, and they begin to drop out of the meeting. Desperate for attention, Joseph claims to have discovered a new fuel source he “invented” on the Blue Star (which is actually Adam’s people’s technology), which brings renewed interest in him. Of course, he knows nothing about the subject, and convinces Adam to help him as part of his continued study of humans. Adam agrees, but his studies are beginning to show that Joseph is quite different from the other humans on Earth, and he begins to distrust Joseph.

Much of the movie is Joseph making a complete buffoon of himself everywhere he goes — a museum, a bar, etc. He can’t fit in because everyone else is happy and content with their lives (one character says he enjoys cutting up onions because it’s his only chance for a good cry), while Joseph is still his old incompetent, greedy and blame-shifting self.

A love interest is introduced by the characters Peter (Radovan Lukavský) and Eve (Anita Kajlichova), young scientists who are obviously in love and want to marry, but Peter is depressed because he doesn’t have a dowry (?), and can’t make the offer. The fuel formula figures prominently in this subplot, and in the denouement is presented by Adam to Peter and Eve as a gift, “Because you’re in love.”

Ultimately, Joseph’s increasing inability to fit in begins to disgust his hosts and they begin to reject him, and in a fit of near-madness Joseph tells them about Adam and claims that he is studying Earth in order to attack it with advanced weapons. Joseph is finally sent off to the “sanitarium” to have his greedyitis cured, and while there sees via the video screen when Adam greets the others and declares his peaceful intentions: “Why would thinking beings want to make war with one another?”

Realizing he’s ruined, Joseph sneaks out of the hospital and makes his way back to the rocketship, where he takes off, intending to go back to the Blue Star. Adam is watching with the others on the video screen, and alters the rocket’s course to send him back to where he came. The final shot is the administrator breaking the Fourth Wall and speaking directly to us: “Look out, people. He’s coming back to YOU.”

muz-z-prvniho-stoleti-aka-man-of-the-first-century-1962-3

muz-z-prvniho-stoleti-aka-man-of-the-first-century-1962-2

muz-z-prvniho-stoleti-aka-man-of-the-first-century-1962-1

IMDB

Czech | DVDRip | MKV | 700×336 | AVC @ 1547 kb/s | 1.10 GB
Audio: AC-3 @ 192 kb/s | 2 channels | 01:30:32 minutes | Subs: English, Czech (embedded)
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi

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