7 Nov 2015 - 26 Nov 2015
Made in Prague: Hommage to Vojtěch Jasný
Celebrating Vojtěch Jasný’s 90th birthday and lifetime achievements, the annual Made in Prague Czech film festival pays tribute to this outstanding filmmaker, hailed as "the spiritual father of the Czech New Wave" by his fellow filmmaker Miloš Forman. Starting with a trio of Jasný´s Cannes International Film Festival Winners (Desire, 1958; When the Cat Comes, 1963 and All My Good Countrymen, 1968), highlighting his Czech period, and concluding with his 1999 American documentary Gladys, the film season showcases his landmark films from his 50+ portfolio shot in Czechoslovakia, Austria, West Germany, the USA and Canada. Demonstrating the width and diversity of his filmmaking and also the distinctive auteur flavour, poetic style and spiritual values, this series offers a unique opportunity to see Jasný’s best films including three UK premieres, and launches the Second Run DVD release of his Magnum Opus All My Good Countrymen, which was banned for more than 20 years.
"In my auteur films I was
always inspired by life and that’s what I shot throughout my life, all the time
seeking and always finding a different meaning to it. Even a trifling mayfly
has its purpose on the Earth, not to mention a human being with the opportunity
to choose good or evil. A human being is the only creature with free will…" Vojtěch Jasný
Known since the ‘60s as a film poet, Vojtěch Jasný (b. 30th November 1925) began work in the 1950s as a maker of propaganda documentary films. Greatly influenced by his idyllic childhood, the Moravian countryside and its cultural traditions, and by a meeting with photographer, ethnographer and filmmaker Karel Plicka, his ‘Moravian trilogy’; (the film poem Desire, the poetic-satirical morality tale When the Cat Comes and the lyrical portrait of village life All My Good Countrymen) represents the best of ‘60s Czech cinematography and significantly influenced films like Edgar Reitz's Heimat and Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon.
After the chronicle of forced collectivization, All My Good Countrymen, was banned “forever” by the communists following the 1968 Russian invasion, Jasný, no longer allowed to make films, went into exile. He worked in Austria and West Germany for the public television companies ORF and ZDF mainly on literary adaptations such as Thomas Bernhard’s Kulterer (1974) and The Life of the Schizophrenic Poet Alexander März (1975), scripted by Heinar Kipphardt, a leading exponent of post war documentary theatre.
In 1984, an offer to fill in for Miloš Forman at Columbia University New York during the shooting of Amadeus opened the third phase of Jasný’s career focusing mainly on teaching and documentaries which concluded in 2001 with his most recent film, the documentary Hell on Earth, part of Steven Spielberg’s holocaust TV project Broken Silence (2002). His documentary strand is represented in the season by Gladys (1999), a remarkable film which continues the life-affirming and spiritual themes in his work through the story of 100-year-old Gladys St. John-Colegrove.
After political changes brought about by the 1989 Velvet Revolution Jasný returned briefly to shoot two more Czech projects: the documentary Why Havel (1991), portraying President Václav Havel and The Return of Paradise (1999), a free continuation of his Magnum Opus All My Good Countrymen before making the Czech Republic his permanent home once again.
Vojtěch Jasný’s Photographs, a digital presentation of photographs
based on his solo exhibition in the Moravian Gallery, Brno in 2010 and his 2011
book Fotografie / Photographs will be on display on 7th
November at the Regent Street Cinema.
Part of Made in Prague Festival, 3 – 29 November 2015
Saturday 7 November, 4pm
Regent Street Cinema
WHEN THE CAT COMES
ALL MY GOOD COUNTRYMEN
Thu 26 November, 7 pm
Austrian Kultural Forum, London
Part of Hommage to Vojtěch Jasný
|MADE IN PRAGUE: Hommage to Vojtěch Jasný - trailer
You can download the festival brochure here:
The Made in Prague Festival is organised by the Czech Centre in collaboration with the Regent Street Cinema, the Goethe Institut London, the Austrian Cultural Forum and Bertha DocHouse, with support of the Moravian Gallery, Brno, Prof. Jiří Voráč, Ph. D., the Department of Film Studies, Masaryk University, Brno and the School of Modern Languages, University of Bristol.
With special thanks to Vojtěch Jasný a Eva Suchánková.
Regent Street Cinema, Bertha DocHouse, Goethe Institut, Austrian Cultural Forum
From: 7 Nov 2015
To: 26 Nov 2015