LES PETITES PERLES AU FOND DE L'EAU

By : Menzel / Nemec / Schorm / Chytilova / Jires

With : Pavla Marsálková, Ferdinand Kruta, Milos Ctrnácty, Václav Zák, Vera Mrázková, Dana Valtová, Ivan Vyskocil

Rep. tchèque, 1965, 107 min
zone 2, Noir & Blanc,
13.00 €


English title: PEARLS OF THE DEEP
Original title: PERLICKY NA DNE

Directed by : Menzel / Nemec / Schorm / Chytilova / Jires

With : Pavla Marsálková, Ferdinand Kruta, Milos Ctrnácty, Václav Zák, Vera Mrázková, Dana Valtová, Ivan Vyskocil

Czechoslovakia, 1965, 107 min
DVD 9, zone 2, Black and white

Original Czech version with French subtitles

THE DEATH OF MR. BALTAZAR (Jiri Menzel)
THE IMPOSTORS (Jan Nemec)
HOUSE OF JOY (Evald Schorm)
THE GLOBE BUFFET (Vera Chytilova)
ROMANCE (Jaromil Jires)

Jiri Menzel, Jaromil Jires and three other directors from the 1960s Czech New Wave contribute to engage short films - each of them adapted a different tale by the renowned author Bohumil Hrabal. The collection underscores the revolutionary approach and daring motifs of a new cinematic era as the young helmsmen took advantage of a more progressive political climate to make movies that were audacious in substance and style.

PEARLS OF THE DEEP has cultural and historical cachet to burn, but as with most omnibus films the on-screen results are mixed.

The opening THE DEATH OF MR. BALTAZAR, about a gearhead couple's trip to the road races with an aged parent, shows the young Menzel already wielding the offhand wit, attention to detail and sure grasp of the tragicomic Hrabalasian cosmos that would characterize his later collaborations with the author. In Němec's austere THE IMPOSTORS two old men while away their hospital days trading stories of their brilliant careers until a predictable shaggy-dog ending. Schorm's colorful HOUSE OF JOY, in which two insurance agents try to sell a policy to an eccentric rural artist, has its moments but rather overplays its absurd hand.

Chytilová's THE GLOBE BUFFET, chronicling a wedding party at a gritty cafeteria, contains some striking images but, foreshadowing her subsequent DAISIES, it's a bit too mannered and self-conscious to register emotionally. In almost rebuking contrast is Jireš' ROMANCE, an affectionate, sweetly funny sketch of a boy's infatuation with a fetching Roma girl that heralds the then-new Czech cinema at its most understatedly sublime.

Bonus: chaptering, restored master, new subtitles
Booklet 28 pages.