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Menzel Retrospective: Seclusion Near a Forest

(This article expired 09.10.2014.)

On November 19, at 7 pm, Bistro Bohem will screen the classic film SECLUSION NEAR A FOREST (Na samotě u lesa) by Oscar-winning director Jiří Menzel. In the film, an ordinary Prague family, the Lavička's, yearns to have a house in the countryside. They make a deal with a charismatic old man that they will rent part of his summer house where he will live until spring and then sell the house to them. As time goes by, the old man makes no effort to leave. Although they found his presence unbearable at first, they gradually become as close as a family. The comedy, depicting the problems of a city family trying to live a simple rural life, became so popular in the Czech Republic and Slovakia that phrases from the film are often quoted. (Dir. Jiří Menzel, 1976, 95 minutes, Czech with English subtitles)

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. 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.  

Event Details:
Location: Bistro Bohem
600 Florida Avenue, Washington, DC 20001

Admission is free.