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Live your films : Filmer à Tout Prix

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© 2015 Filmer à Tout Prix
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by Jan Gogola
10 nov 14:45 > 16:30 Cinéma Aventure
In collaboration with the Czech Centre Brussels, the Institute of Documentary Film and Creative Europe Media

Here the significance of the Czech filmmakers represented shows not only the number of domestic and foreign awards received but mainly the uniqueness of their films, which is also evident in the diversity of the selected films, produced over the past 50 years. Film director Evald Schorm, a member of the Czech New Wave, in his short film Žít svůj život / Live Your Life (1963) portrays the world-renowned photographer Josef Sudek in an atypical biographical way. The film is a portrait of a meeting, here and now. Like when a camera shutter clicks. The cameraman on Schorm’s film was Jan Špáta, the highest representative of Czech philosophical poetry, and director of Respice finnem (1967), a film of existential reflections on the loneliness of old women. While Špáta entered the inner world of characters, for another iconic director, Karel Vachek, these inner worlds on the contrary were in confrontation with other contexts, and in this way give us an unexpected reading of acquaintances. Such is the case with his Moravské Hellas /Moravian Hellas (1963), a surreal reportage on folk festivals that was an amalgam of subversion, the contrast of liberating laughter. Tradition is also the theme of Jana Ševčíková’s documentary Piemule (1983) about Czech minority communities in Romania. Visually, analytically and at the same time in a physical way, the filming draws us into a world in which everyday life is intertwined with archaic rituals: life as a performance of traditions. Helena Třeštíková, meanwhile, follows the context of the ritual of marriage through her unique method of long-term observation. The film Manželské etudy: Marcela a Jiří / Marriage Stories: Marcela and Jiří (1987) becomes a socio-psychological drama of six years in the life of a young couple. Rounding out the collection is the “happening” film Czech Dream (2004) by Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda, who studied at FAMU under Třeštíková, Špáta and Vachek – it was the latter who most markedly influenced them and demanded a transformation of the film subjects, and of the film makers. Czech Dream, in this sense, can be seen as a manifesto of this principle. It is a sociological farce about a non-existent hypermarket and about what we consider to be reality. Indeed, herein the featured films should not be envisaged as a documentary record of reality but rather as works of an anthropological, poetic, philosophical, performative, sociological and artistic nature.

Jan Gogola

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