Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ...
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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 »
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 »
In this movie, TV sets are full of life. If a person is in TV (e.g. because it was filmed on the street) it has a double that's right in the TV set. This double needs energy from the true ... See full summary »
This movie is based on texts of Bohumil Hrabal, world-known Czech prosaic. It's a story (in a form of a mosaic of short episodes and pictures) about the sadness and happiness of inhabitants... 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 »
Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing at funerals and painting tombstones. But he has run up a large debt, and when his friend, the grave-digger Mr. Broz, suggests a scheme for making a lot of money by marrying a Russian woman so that she can get her Czech papers, he reluctantly agrees. She takes advantage of the situation to emigrate to West Germany, to her lover; and leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother; when the grandmother dies, Kolya must come and live with his stepfather - Louka. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
45 weeks after it was first released, this was still in the top 3 in the Czech Republic's box office charts. See more »
After Kolya becomes lost on the subway network and is trying to negotiate the escalator, he is trying to step onto the left hand side of the up escalator. However, from Kolya's point of view shot, he is trying to step onto the right hand side of the up escalator. See more »
I've seen a number of U.S. movies filmed in Czechoslovakia, but this is the first Czech film I've seen. Seeing this makes me understand how Czechoslovakia could have a fairly booming film industry.
This movie came on on cable network IFC and it first grabbed my attention because I didn't recognize what language the characters were speaking. Within a couple of minutes, however, the movie itself had hooked me, though it's not the type of story I'd usually seek out. Indeed I was late to work and really wanted to get going, but I was unable to tear myself away.
Beyond the great writing, acting, and directing, this film has some truly amazing cinematography. There are occasions where the filmmakers seem to have commanded the universe around them to get these shots. In one scene, the lead character looks up through his car's windshield as he's driving, and in perfect synchronization the reflection of the airliner he was looking at passes across the windshield. Even more amazing was the shot from well up in the air, with the lead characters' car driving up the road, a train going up a track in parallel to them, and a hawk (or eagle?) hovering right in front of the camera and then diving off to the side -- and they got this shot right at "magic hour". In Hollywood CGI surely would have been used to coordinate this ballet of elements.
There were also many shots incorporating wonderfully poetic imagery. One of my favorites was the lead character staring into the reflective doors at the airport which close and reveal him to himself, standing there utterly alone.
One more comment -- another reviewer called the ending "predictable", but I'd have to disagree. I really didn't know where the movie would end up, and in fact it was portrayed so subtly that I had to rewind the final scene to be sure what had happened, and then go back and re-watch a prior scene that contained a seemingly throwaway line that bears on the ending.
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