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Menzel Retrospective: Who Looks for Gold

(This article expired 23.07.2014.)

On August 20, at 7 pm, Bistro Bohem will screen the classic film WHO LOOKS FOR GOLD (Kdo hledá zlaté dno) by Oscar-winning director Jiří Menzel, as part of the Menzel Retrospective. In the film, a young man returns to Prague after a stint in the army and has difficulty fitting back into society. He eventually takes a job as a truck driver, using the truck to visit his girlfriend on the weekends. He is unaware that the truck is being used for smuggling on the black market. (1975, 98 minutes, in Czech only)

Menzel Retrospective - Upcoming Film Screenings at Bistro Bohem:           
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.       

August 20, 7 pm   
*Who Looks for Gold (Kdo hledá zlaté dno)
1975, 98 minutes, in Czech only

A young man, after serving a stint in the army, returns to Prague and has difficulty fitting back into society. His girlfriend tries to keep him in the city, but he eventually takes a job as a truck driver. He uses the truck to visit his girlfriend on the weekends. He is unaware that the truck is being used for smuggling on the black market.

September 17, 7 pm
Cutting It Short (Postřižiny)

1981, 93 minutes, Czech with English subtitles

A manager of a large brewery has a beautiful wife that every man in town wants to know better. When his brother arrives for a visit, a situation begins to build that might upset the manager’s marriage. A fortuitous accident occurs that just might save everyone. The film is based on the writing of Bohumil Hrabal and his childhood in Nymburk’s brewery in the 1920s. The film won the Jury Prize at the 1981 Venice Film Festival.

October 15, 7 pm     
The Snowdrop Festival (Slavnosti sněženek)

1984, 83 minutes, Czech with English subtitles

Three hunters from one faction chase after a boar they have discovered in the woods. The wounded animal seeks refuge in a local schoolhouse. Since the schoolhouse is in neutral territory, it becomes the scene for a reckoning between two hunting factions. However, a wild time in a local pub brings about some unexpected consequences.

November 19, 7 pm
Seclusion Near a Forest (Na samotě u lesa)

1976, 95 minutes, Czech with English subtitles

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 summerhouse where he will live until spring and sell the house to them. As time goes by, the old man makes no effort to leave.

December 17, 7 pm
My Sweet Little Village (Vesničko má středisková)

1985, 98 minutes, Czech with English subtitles

The film tells the story of ordinary people who live a small village and how they quietly triumph over a bureaucrat who comes to the village looking for a summer cottage. Throughout the film, there is a comparison between the life of a small village and the routines and rituals of the community as compared to the city.The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (1987). 

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