Terminal prankster Frantisek Hána refuses to grow up and take certain responsibilities, despite his wife Emilie's constant badgering to do so. Even faced with his own looming death and an ...
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The time is 1945-46. 10 year old Eda and his friend Tonda live in a small village outside Prague. In school, their class is so wild and indisciplined that their teacher quits and is ... See full summary »
Three middle-aged men go for a vacation with their children and learn to cope with their needs without their wives. Quickly, they plan to exhaust the kids to have some time off, but nothing really works out as planned.
Wanting to test her suitor Lubos's character and his relation to her son Vasek, Anna accepts his offer for her and Vasek to spend summer holidays at his father's country house. She's ... See full summary »
Terminal prankster Frantisek Hána refuses to grow up and take certain responsibilities, despite his wife Emilie's constant badgering to do so. Even faced with his own looming death and an ungrateful son who wants to whisk his parents off to the old folks' home, Frantisek's wit won't quit as he vies to live until he dies. Written by
A matter of seconds after the credits start, a new scene is shown as the credits roll over them. The theme of the movie is restated with powerful imagery. (As viewed with the DVD distributed in North America.) See more »
This is a gem - even though it may not seem so immediately
Up front, if you're tired, the first hour could be slow. The set up of the story has a natural leisurely pace, unhurried - giving us time to appreciate the kind of everyday life and situations the main characters are in. Once you arrived at the climatic segment of the storyline, the turn of events will keep you hooked: how will things turn out, what will happen to our precious Fanda (portrayed to utter quiet perfection by the veteran Czech actor Vlastimil Brodský), how will his wife (wonderfully played by Stella Zázvorková) treat him, what happens to Fanda's dear friend Ed (played by Stanislav Zindulka - a matching sidekick to Brodský), and Jára the son with selfish hidden agenda, blind to the kindness of his parents (sigh!)
Vladimír Michálek sensibly directed the film with sprinkles of humor, preserving the insightful script by Jirí Hubac. Thanks to clear subtitling, I was able to notice for every 'complaining' phrase Fanda's wife utters, there's a hint of 'caringness' showing/buried in between the lines - and so did the judicious lady judge observed. Fanda is '76 going on 80' and the affection of their enduring (endearing) marriage manifests even in their bantering arguments. His playfulness can be infectious.
This is 'Growing Old Together 101' for (at least) the beyond fifties, and lessons learned to sons and daughters not to take parents for granted. One may need to rethink if assuming 'home for the aged' is a means to an end, so to speak. The film is gently shouting to us to live life to the fullest while we can. (Hint: there's joy in staying on and watch the end credits roll.)
We're fortunate to be able to see an occasional Czech film. The Sverák ("Kolya") father & son's 2001 "Dark Blue World" was revealing with pathos. It's good to take it slow now and then and appreciate a foreign gem - its subtitles, scenery, melodic score and an engaging human story with elegant performances. "Autumn Spring" (aka Babí Léto) is available on DVD. Enjoy!
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