Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: It’s Gonna Get Worse (2007)

Sunday October 27th 2013, Movie night, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema by Jeffrey Babcock. It’s Gonna Get Worse (Directed by Petr Nikolaev, 2007, 86 minutes, In Czech with English subtitles). Original title: A bude hůř.  Door opens at 20:00, film begins at 21:00

This movie has become a renowned cult film in Czechoslovakia, but has been basically unseen anywhere else. Shot in a beautifully rough b&w, this film is like no other in taking us back to Czechoslovakia and how alternative-types lived under Communist rule. The main characters are hippies, but a much rougher type than what was found in America. These are guys who drink incredible amounts of hard alcohol, take drugs and have hard sex…. but listen to psychedelic rock music and have found their own way to be alternative. Wow, this film is incredible in capturing that whole milieu. […Lees verder]

Movie night: The Firemen’s Ball (1967)


Sunday August 25th, Movie night: The Firemen’s Ball (Miloš Forman, 1967, 71 minutes, In Czech with English subtitles). Original title: Horí, má panenko. Door opens at 20:00, film begins at 21:00.

The film follows a pattern common enough in Eastern Europe, where small human stories seem to be a slice of life, but might actually be subtle parables about the restrictive Soviet system. Screenplays had to be approved by censors, but many a change took place between approval and premiere, and in the case of “The Firemen’s Ball” that was almost fatal. The movie was co-financed by the Italian producer Carlo Ponti, but after Czech authorities withdrew their approval, Ponti pulled out, and only the intervention of French director Francois Truffaut saved the film and found it international distribution. […Lees verder]

Movie night: Daisies (1966)

Sunday June 2th 2013, Movie night: Daisies (Věra Chytilová, Czechoslovakia, 1966, 74 min.) Czech with English subtitles. Door open at 8pm, film begin at 9pm.

Daisies (Czech: Sedmikrásky) is a 1966 Czechoslovak comedy-drama film written and directed by Věra Chytilová considered a milestone of the Nová Vlna movement. Made with the support of the state-sponsored film studio, it follows two teenage girls, both named Marie, played by Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová, who engage in strange pranks.

Innovatively filmed, and released two years before the Prague Spring, the film was labeled as “depicting the wanton” by the Czech authorities and banned. Director Chytilová was forbidden to work in her homeland until 1975. The film received the prestigious Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association. […Lees verder]

Movie night: Closely Watched Trains (1966)

Sunday May 12th 2013, Movie night: Closely Watched Trains (“Ostre sledované vlaky”, Jiří Menzel, Czechoslovakia, 1966, 93 min.), in Czech with English subtitles. Door open at 20pm, film begins at 21:00.

An apprentice train dispatcher at a village station seeks his first sexual encounter and becomes despondent when he is unable to perform. In the same time he success in antifascist resistance. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times called Closely Watched Trains “as expert and moving in its way as was Jan Kadar’s and Elmar Klos’s The Shop on Main Street or Milos Forman’s Loves of a Blonde”, two other recent films from Czechoslovakia. […Lees verder]

Czech film night with Pavel Juráček and Jan Němec


Sunday April 14th 2013, Czech film night with a double bill, Joseph Kilian (“Postava k podpírání” original tile, from Pavel Juráček, 1965, 38 min.) and A Report on the Party and the Guests (“O slavnosti a hostech” original title, from Jan Němec, 1966, 70 min.). English subtitles. Door open at 20pm, films begin at 21:00.

Joseph Kilian (“Postava k podpírání” original tile, from Pavel Juráček, 1965, 38 min.)
A year after Franz Kafka’s work had been translated from German into his native Czech, this experimental feature was full of Kafka’s tone and style. The story is about Harold, an isolated figure in an overwhelming world of totalitarian bureaucracy. Harold tries to find the elusive Joseph Kilian, an old acquaintance, in Prague. When Harold stumbles across a state-run cat-lending store, he impulsively rents a feline for the day. Later, he attempts to return the cat and finds that the store no longer exists. Now with a furry companion, Harold continues his search for Kilian. Written and directed by Pavel Juracek, this 40 minute film effectively aims its allegorical shots at personality cults and the absurdities of a totalitarian regime. […Lees verder]

Movie night: The Joke (1969)

Sunday March 31st 2013, Movie night: The Joke (“Zert”, Jaromil Jireš, Czechoslovakia, 1969, 89′). In Czech. Door open at 20pm, film begins at 21:00

The Joke, adapted from the debut novel of the same name by the famed Czech writer Milan Kundera, and directed by Jaromil Jireš, was one of the most politically charged movies to have come out of the Czech New Wave movement. That, combined with its subversive humour and sharp commentary on the then-totalitarian regime, ensured that it was promptly banned by the powers that by. […Lees verder]

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Little Otik (2000)

Sunday January 27th 2013, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinemat: Little Otik (Otesánek by Jan Švankmajer, CZ, 2000, 126′). In Czech with English subtitles. Screened by Jeffrey Babcock. Door open at 20pm, film begins at 21:00.

The visionary Czech stop-motion animator Jan Svankmajer (Alice, Faust) conjured up this phantasmagorical film which is based on the old Czech fairy tale Otesánek or as its translated into English “Greedy Guts”.
This bizarre film follows the story of a loving but childless couple, Karel and Bozena, whose biggest dream is to have a baby…. […Lees verder]

Movie Night: Case for a Rookie Hangman (1969)


Sunday January 13th 2013, Movie night: Case for a Rookie Hangman (original title: Případ pro začínajícího kata) from Pavel Jurácek, Czechoslovakia, 1969, 102 min, in czech with english subtitles. Door open at 20pm (films start at 21:00pm)

Made in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Pavel Juracek’s second and final feature is a formally audacious political fantasia that transforms the third book of Gulliver’s Travels into an allegory on coercion and tyranny. […Lees verder]