Petr is 17 years old and starts work. Incredibly (for Czechoslovakia in 1963) this is as a security worker against shoplifting in a busy self-service shop. His boss gives him pretty basic instructions, and Petr is pretty unsuccessful at work. He doesn't do much better at the dancehall either, and at home his bombastic father lectures him about how useless he is. Written by
Hazel Freeman <email@example.com>
Peter's nick already incarnates the spirit of Prague's unique Black Theatre
this movie evokes to perfection a time, a spirit, even a country (Czechoslovakia) that no longer exist. It's perhaps the most Godardian film among those not directed by the then innovative French movie maker Jean-Luc Godard. It is full of abrupt cuts, hand-held shots, dialog obviously improvised, and so forth. But Forman's humorous tone is quite far away from Une Femme est Une Femme, or Bande À Part. His background is the neo-realist heritage of everyday topics, non-professional actors, and social concern. (Godard, let me remind you, went from rightist anarchist to Maoist wannabe sharkopath, from pioneering cinematic language to self- indulgent mimic.) Forman's subsequent comedies - namely Loves of a Blonde and Taking Off, were better structured - but Peter & Pavla, almost half a century later, turned into a cute retrospective cameo.
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