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 ... 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 »
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 »
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 »
A sincere provincial young man, Frantisek Koudelka (Ludek Sobota) leaves to work in Prague. For the trip he buys a computer made horoscope with biorhythms charts, marked according to his ... 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 »
Eliska is supposed to be a professional teacher of German, yet in the German sentences she speaks in the course of the movie, her German has a heavy Czech accent, much worse than that of her supposed student. And, when Eliska is asked to translate the sentence, "I work for the city administration," her German translation makes no grammatic sense ("an der Stadtamt"). See more »
Vratné lahve (2007), directed by Jan Sverák, written by Zdenek Sverák, was shown in the U.S. with the title "Empties." The title derives from a second "career," undertaken late in life, by the protagonist Josef (Zdenek Sverák). Josef resigns from his position as a teacher and takes a job accepting returned glass bottles at a supermarket. Complications ensue. Josef isn't exactly an ideal worker, but he does establish a rapport with his fellow employees and with some of the customers.
Josef is married, but he and his wife are tired of each other. (Incidentally, his wife is played by Daniela Kolárová, who looks like the Czech Hellen Mirren.) Josef and his wife are both contemplating adultery, although that's not as easy for them as it might sound.
"Empties" is a comedy, but a comedy with a sad and bitter undertone. Everyone is looking for love, romance, and understanding, but mostly they're looking in the wrong places. Still, the film is worth seeing, especially because of the wonderful acting by Zdenek Sverák, who was outstanding in the film "Kolya" ten years ago, and is equally outstanding in "Empties."
Incidentally, the identical names of the actor/writer and director are not coincidental--they are father and son. That must lead to some interesting moments on the set.
We saw this film at the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival. It will work pretty well on a small screen. It's definitely worth seeking out and seeing.
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