Kopfrkingl enjoys his job at a crematorium in Czechoslovakia in the late 1930s. He likes reading the Tibetan book of the dead, and espouses the view that cremation relieves earthly ... See full summary »
Husband (senior ministry official) and wife find their house is riddled with listening devices put there by his own ministry. A harrowing night follows (reminiscent of 'Who's Afraid Of ... See full summary »
The fire department in a small town is having a big party when the ex-boss of the department celebrates his 86th birthday. The whole town is invited but things don't go as planned. Someone ... See full summary »
Slovakia during WW2. Tono lives a poor life, but the authorities offer him to take over the Jewish widow Lautman's little shop for sewing material. She is old and confused and thinks that ... See full summary »
A selfish self-centered widowed ruler, barely tolerated by his subjects and called appropriately enough, 'King Myself, First' asks his three daughters to name the measure of their love for ... See full summary »
Comedy about the people who inhabit a small town. For years the overbearing Pavek has endured Otik, the "town idiot," sharing his meals and the front seat of their dump truck. But Otik is ... See full summary »
Robert works for a travel agency and helps to arrange scenes from the everyday lives of "ordinary" Czech families as an attraction for Japanese tourists. He also works as a kind of ... See full summary »
Two families, Sebkovi and Krausovi, are celebrating christmas, but not everyone is in a good mood. Teenage kids think their fathers are totaly stupid, fathers are sure their children are ... See full summary »
Wonderful, tragicomic antihero who treats his life like a big challenge....
"Czechoslovakia" and "cinema" do not go together very often, do they? Even if some hardcore movie lovers realize that Milos Forman made his first films in Czechoslovakia, they would hardly name any other Czech or Slovak directors without consulting Google the almighty... Yet, somewhere in the middle of the uncharted ocean of the Czecho-Slovak cinema there are genuine treasure islands. The Death of the Beautiful Roebucks is, without doubt, one of them. According to an old rumor and some experience of the author, the Czechs love stories and fairy tales. Men and women all over Bohemia listen to the stories while sipping yet another glass of their beloved lager. The Czechs usually do not hurry, because it takes some time to tell a good story. And they would not like to miss a single one.
"The Death of the Beautiful Roebucks" is a story of a man from Prague who becomes the most successful vacuum cleaner salesman in Europe. It is based on the autobiographical book written by one of the most fascinating and at the same time tragic Czech writers - Ota Pavel. Major character of the book, and the movie, is Ota's father as seen by the author, then only a little boy. The father is a wonderful, tragicomic antihero who treats his life like a big challenge. His petty pleasures, small tricks and warm attitude win the hearts of the audience immediately.
The father has three true passions he vigorously follows and these are: fishing, conquering beautiful women and, taking care of his own family. Perhaps the set looks rather peculiar, but the father really convincingly takes care of all three of them Giving up too many details would spoil the pleasure of watching (and hopefully also reading) the story, but a small episode is worth of mentioning. At some point the father buys a pond, apparently full of fish, for a considerable amount of money. Some time later the father invites his boss, colleagues, family to a party during which the pond is to be drained and all the fish caught. While the band on the shore especially invited for that very occasion plays the last song, a single fish emerges in the net Yet this is just the beginning of the story
Yes,the story has serious parts too. It is about the war and the Holocaust,yet it is exceptional. Even during most serious parts the movie does not cease to be a sad fairy tale blended with subtle, warm grotesque.
The Roebucks really are beautiful and they do play an important part in the movie. So do the Czech tragicomic attitude towards the world outside and, even more, the Czech stories.
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