A Journal for Eastern European and Eurasian Studies
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Check out some Czech at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
The Fantastic World of František Vláčil
"We are pleased to present this major survey of Vláčil’s work - “The Czech New Wave's formalist, post-expressionist wrecking ball” (Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice). With in-person appearances by actor Jan Kacer (Valley of the Bees) and critic Peter Hames (author of The Czechoslovak New Wave).
The least-known major figure of the 1960s Czech New Wave, František Vláčil studied aesthetics and art history before embarking on a film career marked by its recurring theme of conformity at odds with free expression, its use of the past as a prism for understanding the present and, above all, for its dazzling visual poetry. Although duly celebrated for his 13th-century epic Marketa Lazarová—voted the greatest Czech film of all time in a 1998 poll of national critics—Vláčil made over a dozen additional features that run the gamut from lyrical children’s fables to incisive critiques of Czech politics and social mores in the aftermath of the Second World War. Accused of subversion and unable to work following the Soviet invasion of 1968, Vláčil returned to filmmaking in the late 1970s and remained active until his death in 1999. His full body of work, only now being discovered internationally, reveals the sure hand of a master.
Acknowledgments: National Film Archive, Prague; Bionaut Films; British Film Institute/Geoff Andrew and Julie Pearce, Czech Centre London/Renata Clark, Czech Center New York/Pavla Niklova and Radka Krizek, Peter Hames, Jan Kacer, Irena Kovarova."