Distinguished by being "banned forever" in its native Czech Republic, Jan Nemec's "A Report on the Party" is a great film from the flowering of the Czech cinema in the 1960s. It is a ... See full summary »
Distinguished by being "banned forever" in its native Czech Republic, Jan Nemec's "A Report on the Party" is a great film from the flowering of the Czech cinema in the 1960s. It is a political thriller that satirizes unquestionable conformity. A group of happy picnickers are accosted by a group of strangers led by a bullying sadist who has an unbreakable hold over his followers. After he interrogates one of them, a stranger then invites everyone to a nonsensical, but elegant and formal banquet outdoors. Nemec documents the process of self-deception and rationalization which lead to an acceptance of constrant; free will and freedom are seen as difficult to maintain and easily discarded. The affair is bizarre, and ends when one of the guests (played by film director Evald Schorm) chooses not to remain and escapes. His compatriots agree that he must be recaptured, and the group arms and hunts him down. The film concludes with the nightmarish barking of search dogs. Written by
Fiona Kelleghan <email@example.com>
...but if is has one it is no doubt subversive. That was the British Board of Film Censors' verdict on another surrealist film, and the same is true here. It isn't about communist coups or subversion; it's about the contradictions of human nature and that makes it much more dangerous than any ostensibly revolutionary or counter-revolutionary film. The host- who says he loves surprises but hates surprises he has not arranged himself- is more like a self-made businessman or an old-fashioned nobleman than any apparatchik and even more like god- he wants everyone to enjoy his banquet and is hurt if they don't, and takes drastic measures if his generosity is rejected, while his eccentric son tries to fulfil his desires.
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