Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C.

česky  english 

Advanced search

Article notification Print Decrease font size Increase font size

Menzel Retrospective: I Served the King of England

On June 18, at 7 pm, Bistro Bohem will screen director Jiří Menzel's I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále). The film follows the adventures of opportunist Jan Dítě, a man who is easily impressed by grandeur, lavish lifestyles, sex and money. He goes from being a porter to becoming a hotel millionaire during the most turbulent period in Europe’s recent history.

June 18, 7 pm                                       
*I Served the King of England (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále)

2006, 120 minutes, Czech with English subtitles

The film follows the adventures of opportunist Jan Dítě, a man who is easily impressed by grandeur, lavish lifestyles, sex and money. The beginning of the film starts with him being released from prison in the 1950s. The story is told through a series of flashbacks. His life hits a high note when he is hired as a waiter in Prague’s grandest hotel in the 1930s. He goes from being a porter to becoming a hotel millionaire during the most turbulent period in Europe’s recent history.

Location: Bistro Bohem, 600 Florida Avenue, Washington, DC 20001 | www.bistrobohem.com            

Menzel Retrospective - Upcoming Film Screenings at Bistro Bohem:   
June 18:                I Served the King of England | Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále           
July 16:                 *Crime in a Music Hall | Zločin v šantánu      
August 20:            *Who Looks for Gold | Kdo hledá zlaté dno  
September 17:       Cutting It Short | Postřižiny               
October 15:            The Snowdrop Festival | Slavnosti sněženek 
November 19:        Seclusion Near a Forest | Na samotě u lesa    
December 17:        My Sweet Little Village | Vesničko má středisková                       

*These films will be screened in Czech only. | All others will have English subtitles. | Screenings start at 7 pm.        

Additional information about Jiří Menzel:    

Jiří Menzel is an award-winning director, screenwriter, actor, and theater director. He studied filmmaking at the famous Czech National Film Academy, FAMU, in Prague. Like Forman, he was one of the leaders of the Czech New Wave. Most notably, Menzel won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1968 for his first feature-length film Closely Watched Trains (Ostře sledované vlaky, 1966). With the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces in 1968, and the period of so-called ‘normalization’ that followed, he was one of the first directors to be barred from filmmaking. Menzel’s controversial film Larks on a String (Skřivánci na niti, 1969) was banned by the government, but released twenty years later, in 1990, after the collapse of the communist regime. The film won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. In 1987, his film My Sweet Little Village (Vesničko má středisková, 1985) was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film. Other renowned works include Capricious Summer (Rozmarné léto, 1968), Cutting It Short (Postřižiny, 1981) and most recently I Serve the King of England (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále, 2006). Menzel is a member of the Czech Film and Television Academy, the European Film Academy and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has received many prestigious awards, among them the French order of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and the Akira Kurosawa Prize for a lifetime’s achievement at the San Francisco Film Festival.   

About the Czech New Wave:            
The Czech New Wave was an artistic movement of the 1960s, hailed as the “golden era” in Czechoslovakia's cinematic history boasting some of the most attractive films produced in Europe. The core of the New Wave was comprised of recent graduates of the Film and Television Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, who made their debuts in or around 1963, and continued to produce internationally acclaimed work throughout most of the decade. Prominent Czech directors include Miloš Forman, who directed Loves of a Blonde (Lásky jedné plavovlásky, 1965) and The Firemen's Ball (Hoří, má panenko, 1967); Věra Chytilová who is best known for her film Daisies; and Jiří Menzel, whose film Closely Watched Trains (Ostře sledované vlaky, 1966) whose film one the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.