Twelve-year-old Alena (Dita Kaplanová) has had to leave the countryside on a blazing hot summer day and come back home to a block of flats on the outskirts of Prague. She spends most of the day on her own, amusing herself daydreaming and imagining, on the blazing hot building roof awaiting the rain. Her mother (Ladislava Kozderková) is at work all day and her friends are still away on holidays. Alena is keen on the actor Budil (Jirí Bartoska) and puts on her best clothes for him each day, running out onto the street carrying her mother’s handbag.
Tag Archives: Czech
Sun, Hay and Strawberries / Slunce, seno, jahody (1983) Zdenek Troska, Pavel Kikincuk, Bronek Cerny, Veronika Kánská, Comedy
Slunce, seno, jahody is a very successful Czech comedy film made in 1984, usually regarded as one of the classics of the Czech comedy industry. It was filmed and set in Hoštice, a small rural village in the Czech portion of the former Czechoslovakia. It is a play on the perceived stereotypes of daily life in a village community.
A Czech agricultural student, Šimon Pláni?ka, arrives at the small South Bohemian town of Hoštice, and joins the local JZD (agricultural co-op) with the intention of trying out his experiment regarding the “Milk yield of cows in regards to a cultured environment”. He runs into difficulty with the directorship of the JZD, but he finds them eager to help once they hear he’s the son of the local agricultural commissioner, as his last name is also Pláni?ka. Blažena Škopková is given the task of finding out how things are looking. However everything is complicated by the jealousy of Blažena’s boyfriend Venca.
Rich slacker Sebastian has little respect for others, especially not women. Riding on his good looks and charm, he easily manipulates people, like his flatmate Alex. He enjoys playing with others; sometimes casually, sometimes cruelly, changing their lives.
Sebastian’s favorite sport is slumming in Vienna’s seedy bars and cafés in search of quirky characters to toy with. He also likes surfing for young women over the internet, seducing them with elaborate stories of truth, half-truth and lies. Grade school teacher Pia is his latest conquest. Or maybe this wallflower who talks too much when she’s nervous has actually conquered him?
Their romance is jeopardized when Pia becomes angry about Sebastian’s latest act of flippant cruelty: just for fun, he and Alex picked up an unconscious drunk off the street and drove him to the Czech Republic, where they dumped him without any ID.
Pia decides to rescue this man, Kallman, a down and out poet whose drinking binges usually result in ranting and raving and aggressive attempts to sell his poems on the street. Little does he know, he’s about to have a moment of sudden revelation, lost and alone in the wintry Czech wildnerness…
Vyhnání z ráje / Expulsion from Paradise (2001) Vera Chytilová, Bolek Polívka, Jan Antonín Pitínský, Milan Steindler, Drama, Comedy, Erotic
Philosophical movie, staged at the least philosophical environment imaginable: A closed scenery of a nudist spot, where some hired Czech stuff is making a plain erotic movie for a rich Russian producer. Nothing in this movie is what it seems to be at the first superficial glance.
“Post Coitum” is a sex tragicomedy. There are five women and four men, who are very unsatisfied with life. They have casual sex which causes them to be more unhappy. All of the characters literally hook up and switch partners unknowingly. There’s an aged hippie photographer (Franco Nero), the sweet virgin, a prostitute, an egotistical record producer and his humble wife, a married couple, a rock star and other assortment of Felliniesque characters.”Post Coitum” is like an erotic slapstick version of “Magnolia”, as filmed by Fellini.
Smutecni slavnost / Funeral Ceremony (1969) Zdenek Sirový, Jaroslava Tichá, Josef Somr, Jana Vychodilová, Drama
Transport z raje / Transport From Paradise (1963) Zbynek Brynych, Zdenek Stepánek, Ilja Prachar, Jirí Vrstála, Drama, War
Transport from Paradise is set in an unusual World War II concentration camp. The lax Nazi guards permit their Jewish prisoners to roam freely about the camp and conduct their own business and social affairs, without the threat of instant extermination looming over their heads. The prisoners’ main fear is that they may at any moment be shipped off to one of the death camps. In the film’s incredibly heartbreaking climax, a group of prisoners willingly board a train to Auschwitz, laboring under the delusion that they are being sent to another “paradise” camp at the behest of the Council of Jewish Elders.
Daleká cesta / Distant Journey (1950) Alfréd Radok, Blanka Waleská, Otomar Krejca, Viktor Ocásek, Drama, Thriller, War
Distant Journey follows Hana, a Jewish eye doctor who falls in love and marries a Gentile named Toník. Their simple love story becomes a nightmare when the government begins the systematized extermination of the Jews. Hana’s family is transported to Theresienstadt, and the romance becomes a struggle for survival.
Lepsie byt bohaty a zdravy ako chudobny a chory / It’s Better to Be Wealthy and Healthy Than Poor and Ill (1992) Juraj Jakubisko, Deana Horváthová, Dagmar Havlová, Juraj Kukura, Comedy, Drama
In a tone of bitter comedy, the director portrays the confusion that ensued the fall of the Soviet bloc and the split of the former Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia into two independent states (the Czechs and Slovaks one side on the other), where some characters who thrived in mediocrity enrich suddenly taking advantage of the chaos. With his film, Jakubisko predicted growth of irrational nationalism in Eastern Europe and the dismantling of the Czechoslovak Federation.