I Love Czech Films

Celebrating the diversity of Czech cinema


Krásno (2014) Czech Crime/Comedy, directed by Ondřej Sokol

Inspired by some bizarre real life events, Czech actors Ondřej Sokol and Martin Finger co-wrote (and Sokol also directed) a dark comedy, slightly resembling by its genre, style and themes the work of Coen brothers.

Two life-long friends Adam and Michal (played by the actors mentioned above) return to their birthplace, a small town called Šumperk. Both of them are living in Prague now, so they tend to see Šumperk and its inhabitants with an ironic contempt. They arrived there because Michal´s father is in hospital, in critical condition. He actually dies shortly after his son´s visit, and Michal now must to contact his stepmother Blanka (Jana Krausová), with whom he doesn´t have the best relations.

The thing is, several years ago Michal´s mother died under unclear circumstances, by drowning herself in titular lake Krásno. Michal and Adam are convinced that it was not an accident, but possibly a murder, planned and executed by the late father and his then mistress Blanka. Old conflicts are very soon revived and what follows is a cat-and-mouse game with some murderous results.

I did like the lightly delivered dark humour of it and also most of the performances (especially by Karel Roden and Jaroslav Plesl as a gay couple of funeral directors), but what I didn´t like so much, was a story development. You know, if the whole point seems to be to prove or disprove the presumption that Blanka murdered Michal´s mother, then it should be clearly said at the end if she did it or not. Except, it isn´t. Also, some minor characters are bit redundant for the story and I could happily live without them.

However, it wasn´t a bad movie and I certainly enjoyed its humour much more than a heavy-handed melodrama, which can be found in some other Czech films of the last decade (like, for example, films of Bohdan Sláma or Robert Sedláček). 7/10

Rudolf Hrušínský (with a fake nose), portraying French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in TV movie Waterloo (1967, directed by Jiří Bělka).


Jiří Trnka The Hand

Nice picture of Czech actress Zlata Adamovská, who - unfortunately - is more active in TV soaps than in films in recent years. It´s a shame, because she is really great actress.

American private detective Nick Carter (Michal Dočolomanský), identifying Czech aristocrat Rupert von Kratzmar (Miloš Kopecký) as criminal mastermind nicknamed The Gardener, in Oldřich Lipský´s 1977 mystery-spoof Dinner for Adele (Adéla ještě nevečeřela).

Oldřich Nový and Adina Mandlová in their famous “cigarette kiss” scene from Martin Frič´s 1939 screwball comedy Kristian.

From Jaromil Jireš´s 1970 surreal romantic horror Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Valerie a týden divů)

(via jiritrnkapuppetmaster)


Ikarie XB-1 (“Voyage to the End of the Universe”) - 1963

Advertising for a bastardized American version of Jindřich Polák´s Ikarie XB1 called Voyage to the End of the Universe. Not only all Czech names in the credits were americanized (Jindřich Polák is credited as Jack Pollock, Dana Medřická as Dana Meredith, Radovan Lukavský as Rodney Lucas, František Smolik as Francis Smolen etc.), but the film was dramatically recut, with totally different ending and many shifts in its meaning.

From Jiří Barta´s short film Zaniklý svět rukavic aka Secret World of Gloves. IMDB summary:

Using an array of gloves in different styles and from different historical periods, the film is a short history of the cinema - from silent movies via pastiches of Buñuel and Fellini and Close Encounters of the Third Kind to a futurist junkyard where tin cans become animated police cars in a city of urban decay.

Famous Czech time travel comedy Tomorrow I´ll Wake Up And Scald Myself with Tea (Zítra vstanu a opařím se čajem) by screenwriter Miloš Macourek (Who Wants to Kill Jessie?, I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen!) and director Jindřich Polák (Ikarie XB1) WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES. Don´t miss it.