Middle-aged Antonin and his friends, the major, now retired, and the canon, are in the river, swimming and philosophizing. Then it starts to rain. It just seems to be that sort of summer. ... See full summary »
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 »
In the 1950's, Ludvik Jahn was expelled from the Communist Party and the University by his fellow students, because of a politically incorrect note he sent to his girlfriend. Fifteen years ... See full summary »
A fascinating and human portrayal of a once-famous fighter pilot and loyal Stalinist named Nadezhda Petrovna. Now a 41-year-old provincial schoolmistress, she has so internalized the ... See full summary »
The White Dove, by Frantisek Vlacil is a film that deserves to be remembered in spite of its occasional sloppiness. It is about a young boy (Karel Smyczek) and his quest for his freedom and his identity. Here we have a triumph of images rather than of acting or story. The visual metaphors are blunt, but they are beautiful, so who cares? We have a head made of clay that has its face ripped off (the loss of one's identity), we have fingerprints that grow into flowers (the delicacy of identity), we have our main character climbing to the top of the fence surrounding his school, escaping his vicious classmates (the struggle for freedom). The Four Hundred Blows may be wonderful, but its many plot device characters take away the film's riveting effect after many viewings; The White Dove's purely emotional rapture takes the long road around conventional plot clichés and finds a place in a quiet little corner of our hearts.
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