The Czech New Wave, 1960-1970,  Film Festival Spring 2012

             The Czechoslovak New Wave is widely recognized—along with Italian neo-realism--as an important movement in Cold War era world cinema.  Its sustained break with Soviet-style Socialist Realism brought a series of awards at international festivals in the 1960s, including two Academy Awards.  Surprisingly, the so-called Prague Spring and Soviet invasion in 1968 affected film production only belatedly, but by 1970 blacklisted films numbered nearly 100, including most of those we’ll be screening.

All films will start at 7pm in Weber State University’s Wildcat Theater, Shepherd Union Building. 


Wednesday, January 18: Romeo, Juliet, and Darkness/Romeo, Julie a tma (1960)

Director Jiri Weiss’s film of a young student who keeps a Jewish girl hidden from the Nazi authorities and falls in love with her sublimates themes of resistance and hope that marked more overtly political Czech films of the sixties.

Wednesday, February 1: The Shop on Main Street/Obchod na korze (1965)

Introduction: Brandon Hone, M.A. (Utah State)Director Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos brought Czechoslovakia its first Academy Award (for Best Foreign Language Film) with their moving portrayal of Aryanization during World War II in the Slovakian town of Sabinov.

Wednesday, February 15: Closely Watched Trains/Ostre sledovane vlaky (1966)  Introduction: Professor Greg Lewis, Weber State University

Director Jiri Menzel’s coming of age story about a young man working at a train station in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II won the 1967 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Wednesday, February 29: Fireman's Ball/Hori, ma panenko (1967)

Introduction: Brandon Hone, M.A. (Utah State)

Milos Forman’s last film before emigrating to the U.S. was an uncompromising comedy-satire that utilized actual small-town firemen rather than professional actors and was one of several New Wave films to be permanently banned by Czech authorities.

Wednesday, March 11: Larks on a String/Skrivanci na niti (1969) 

Introduction:  Professor Greg Lewis, Weber State University

Director Jiri Menzel’s satire of ‘bourgeois’ characters being re-educated in a Czech junkyard was released more than two decades after it was completed, in 1990 (after the fall of the Communist regime).  It won the Golden Bear at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.

Wednesday, April 4: The Cremator/Spalovac mrtvol (1969)

Introduction: Professor Shawn Clybor, Utah State University
Juraj Herz’s film about a 1930s Prague cremator Karel Kogfrkingl combines elements of black comedy, horror, and drama in the manner of great German Expressionist films from the silent era.  The film was immediately banned in Czechoslovakia and remained in the vault until 1990.


Wednesday, April 11: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders/Valerie a tyden divu (1970)

Introduction: Professor Shawn Clybor, Utah State University

Jaromil Jires film of fantasy and horror features 13 year old Jaroslava Schallerova as Valerie, a dreamer cajoled and threatened by priests, vampires, and women.

Weber State UniversityOgden, Utah 84408

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