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Program

May 26, 2019 - May 28, 2019

Long Live the Republic! - Ester Krumbachová: Unknown Master of the Czechoslovak New Wave

Czech Center New York and Film Society of Lincoln Center present the work of the Czech costume and set designer, scriptwriter, and director Ester Krumbachová.

Sunday, May 26, 3:45PM
Tuesday, May 28, 8PM
Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center
Tickets coming in May

LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC! 
Costume design by Ester Krumbachová
Director: Karel Kachyňa, 1965, 132 min, Czechoslovakia

Thanks to filmmakers of the New Wave in Czechoslovak cinema the previously entrenched, ideologically hijacked view of World War II underwent a re-evaluation during the 1960s. One of the earliest films of this type is a drama made in 1965 and released under the rather ironic title of Long Live the Republic!. A breakthrough film, it was the result of a very rewarding cooperation between director Karel Kachyňa and screenwriter Jan Procházka. Back then, at the dawn of the 1960s, the more tendentious war drama The Slinger (1960) had been added by the director, then aged 41, to his filmography. This earlier story of a young participant in the bitter battle for the Dukla Pass contrasts sharply with the tale of 12-year-old Olin, through whose eyes we witness the final days of the war. The Moravian village of Nesovice becomes the stage for accelerating events as both the frontline and the war’s end approach. The young protagonist lives in fear of his strict father, while simultaneously observing the adults’ behaviour with increasing bewilderment. He watches, for instance, as they show little hesitation before looting a vacant German farm or killing an alleged collaborator. Both the retreating German soldiers and the Soviet liberators are a source of apprehension for the boy in relation to the family assets – a mare and a cart – which he has hidden in the woods at his father’s command. Disenchantment with the world order is of course nothing new for Olin. He has already learned about greed and cruelty from his peers, by whom he is relentlessly tormented. With this film, Kachyňa established his reputation as a lyrical director, combining poetic and dreamlike images with the grim reality of the war’s final days. The impressive visual scope of the motion picture was in no small part thanks to camera operator Jaromír Šofr for whom it was a feature-film debut. Non-professional actor Zdeněk Lstibůrek excelled in the role of Olin, offering further proof of Kachyňa’s legendary ability to direct child protagonists. The film was also screened under the title Me and Julina and the End of the Great War. (National Film Archive)

 

 

 

 

 

ESTER KRUMBACHOVÁ

Though Ester Krumbachová was considered by director Věra Chytilová to be the boldest personality of the Czechoslovak New Wave, her contributions to the movement have been largely overlooked. A costume and set designer, scriptwriter, and director, the multi-hyphenate artist shared her puckishly surreal and trenchant, radical vision with such trailblazing directors as Chytilová (Daisies), Karel Kachyňa (The Ear), Jaromil Jireš (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders), and Jan Němec (Diamonds of the Night). But shortly after making her directorial debut with the hilarious yet criminally underseen fantasy The Murder of Mr. Devil, she was blacklisted by the Czechoslovak Communist government. This May, the Czech Center New York looks back on Krumbachová’s singular imprint on the Czechoslovak New Wave, and reexamines some of the movements’ most beloved, important works in a new light. Presented in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

OTHER FILMS IN THE SERIES

The Murder of Mr. Devil

Daisies

The Ear

Fruit of Paradise

All My Compatriots

Diamonds of the Night

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

Coach to Vienna

The Fifth Horseman Is Fear

Venue:

Lincoln Center

Date

From: May 26, 2019
To: May 28, 2019

Organizer:

Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event


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