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Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:07 am
by hengcs
Hi to all,

By popular demand, I am "cutting and pasting" all the Eastern European films here ...


PS: oh no, I think all the index has to be verified again ... hiaks hiaks ...

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:12 am
by hengcs
From madhuban
(1/10/06 3:37 pm)

hi all,
i chanced upon this message board and immediately became a member. priceless information for somebody like me sitting in india, trying very hard to access world cinema. i've been watching a number of czech new wave films from the 60s over again, and wondering why these gems are not talked about as much as they should be.
Diamonds of the Night - Jan Nemec
Larks on a String & Closely Guarded Trains - Jiri Menzel
Diasies - Vera Chytilova
The Fireman's Ball & Loves Of A Blonde - Milos Forman
The Cremator - Juraj Herz
Who Wants to Kill Jessie - vaclav Vorlicek
The Shop On Main Street - Elmar Klos & Jan Kadar
Is there anybody here who is fond of these films? Would love to have your response.

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:14 am
by hengcs
Johndav
(1/10/06 4:08 pm)

Welcome. It's great to have some new input here, especially as it's quieter than it used to be. We had a recent brief discussion somewhere on the boards about Eastern European films we like. I've long wanted to see Diamonds of the Night- and a few others you mention i've not seen. I enjoyed the very playful anarchic Daisies (cutting men down to size, literally by unusual compositions). A Blonde in Love and Closely Observed Trains are fine. I've ordered forthcoming dvd of Passer's Intimate Lighting. Svankmajer is an interesting director of animations (or part-live, part-animated films): Alice, Dimensions of Dialogue, Little Otik, Conspirators of Pleasure... Trnka is another admired animator, e.g the satirical The Hand (i've not seen), The Emperor and the Nightingale. There's a strong strain of quirky surrealism in Czech/Slovak cinema, e.g Valerie and her Week of Wonders (Jires).

One Czech novel i really liked is Cutting it Short/ The little Town where Time Stood Still (Hrabal), again with that seemingly characteristic mix of eccentricity, humour, darkness and whimsicality.

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:15 am
by hengcs
madhuban
(1/11/06 1:27 am)

hi john,

i am still getting used to the logic of this message board. will look up the discussion on east european films you talk about. i recently acquired "Diamonds of the Night", but it is really an awfully bad print. this film has not been restored and released on DVD. i wonder why! have you seen Menzel's film on Hrabal's "Cutting It Short"? i haven't and am looking forward to ordering another bad print. if that's the only way one can watch these films, so be it! Passer's "Intimate Lighting" is another priority, as is Jires' "The Joke" and "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders". what i like best about the czech new wave is really the dark humour. it is quite unlike anything that has ever been done in cinema, especially if you consider that a lot of them (except Chytilova, Nemec) often stick to conventional linear narratives, yet use them to operate on an allegorical level. In most allegories, the characters become cardboard figures, but the czech new wave guys were able to pay as much attention to the ordinary everyday of their characters, as to the larger context of state socialism which was being made fun of through them.
M

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:16 am
by hengcs
Johndav
(1/11/06 6:19 am)

Madhuban; it's obvious you're going to be a real asset here. This is a site that more than makes up in quality what others have in quantity (it was more busy a couple of years back, but was sidelined for a period and hasn't yet fully recovered). Any other knowledgeable recruits very welcome.

Er, i hadn't even realised Menzel had done a film of the Hrabal book, have just had to look up his career details to find it (1980?), not one of his more famous ones, i think. I'll see what ratings it gets at imdb. I must read Hrabal's novel of Closely Observed Trains (he co-scripted the film with Menzel)- i'm often deterred from the source novel when i've already seen the film-, but i'm currently awaiting delivery of Good Soldier Svejk novel.

It would be great to have more Eastern European films availablegenerally, as they have something very distinctive to offer.

Today a dvd arrived of Mughal-e-Azam. Not that i want to change this thread subject- perhaps we could do with a thread elsewhere on Indian cinema? (my dad was born in India, by the way- if i'd been a top cricketer, i'd certainly have chosen to play for India rather than England).

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:09 am
by hengcs
arsaib4
(1/11/06 8:59 am)

Absolutely. It's good to have you here, Madhuban. That's a very nice list of films you posted on the previous page.

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:11 am
by hengcs
madhuban
(1/11/06 1:43 pm)

"A" can we have a separate czech cinema thread please? If the earlier thread can't be revived, let's begin afresh. I would like to know about things I haven't seen. Maybe, we could have a more general "the other europe" sort of thread where we talk about films from lesser known european countries. Or is that far too general? For instance, I simply adore Aki Kaurismaki.

Have been going off on a tangent! Here's what i've seen today:
1. "All The Boys Are Called Patrick" - this is an early Godard short, with the screenplay by Eric Rohmer. I have a preference for the early Godard, and had been waiting for years to see this one. To say the least, it was sublime!
2. Do you Remember Dolly Bell? - Kusturica's early film. I am a Kusturica convert, so i definitely found this amazing. I do not know if I'm imagining things, but Kusturica had been to film school in Prague, and there seems to be a huge influence of the Czech New wave on this film, especially the manner in which he treats the obviously obsolete communist sympathies of the father.

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:11 am
by hengcs
Johndav
(1/12/06 3:28 am)

Kusturica: i fancy seeing Dolly Bell, and When Father was Away on Business. I enjoyed Time of the Gypsies but disliked Underground (just too full of itself, never let up) Black Cat White Cat somewhere in between. I appreciate his interest in Romany culture though of course the characters still often fit into loveable rogue stereotype.

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:12 am
by hengcs
A
(1/12/06 7:14 pm)

What may seem as stereotypes at first glance in most Kusturica films is just the "above" layer. There is really very much subtext going on in most of his films, and especially in "Underground"! Maybe I'm biased, as I was born on Balkan, but I don't like most Yugoslavian stereotypical films I've seen, but Kusturica is really something else.

@madhuban
Have seen the Godard short a while ago, but wasn't impressed too much. Seemed like an influence on Jean Eustache, though (or was it the just Eric Rohmer...). I liked Godard's short "Story of Water" much more (co-directed and scripted by Truffaut).
Fine to see the mention of similarities to the Czech New wave in "Do you remember Dolly Bell?". I also thought so immediately when i watched it (especially at the beginning), and when i pointed this out to a friend I watched the film with (a big Kusturica fan), I think I made him a bit interested in Czech films.
But I think other Yugoslavian films of that time had the same influence (Rdeci Boogie by Karpo Godina comes to mind). It is the only film by Kusturica where this is apparent, though, as he fully found his own style with his next feature "When father was away on business". I see it as a kind of hybrid between Kusturica and the films he probably admired. A great film, and this made it even more interesting for me.

Re: Eastern Europe Excites ... ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:12 am
by hengcs
madhuban
(1/13/06 3:35 am)

@ A

The reason i liked the Godard short is that it builds up the story (whatever story there is) through inconsequential conversations a la Rohmer, and the viewer knows that the two girls met the same man, though they do not know this. A rather nice conceit. Neither does Patrick know that he is fishing for two flatmates. The viewer is the only one aware of the repetitions. It isn't a short to make the top ten perhaps, but a charming wisp of a tale with a fine structure.

M