Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo


25 Oct 2020 - 1 Nov 2020

Hommage to Jiří Menzel (23 February 1938 – 5 September 2020)

To celebrate the life and work of the late director Jiří Menzel, best known for his quietly subversive 1966 Oscar-winning comedy Closely Observed Trains, the Czech Centre London and Second Run present another of Menzel’s outstanding adaptations of a literary work by Bohumil Hrabal, a newly restored Cutting it Short (1980) and an epic new documentary love letter to Czech cinema - CzechMate, In Search of Jiří Menzel (2020).


The film will be available to rent for £4.99 (UK only) via THIS LINK on Czech Centre London Vimeo on Demand
from 10 am on Sunday 25 October 2020 GMT till 10 am on Sunday 1 November 2020 GMT

Director: Jiří Menzel
Czechoslovakia, 1980, 93', English subtitles
Cast: Magda Vašáryová, Jiří Schmitzer, Jaromír Hanzlík and
Rudolf Hrušinský

A much loved piece of classic Czech cinema tells a delightful comic story based on the work of Bohumil Hrabal, in which Menzel and Hrabal recreated the 1920s world of Hrabal's childhood in the Nymburk brewery. The peaceful family harmony provided by the balance between Maryška, his charming, outgoing and emancipated mother and Francin, his earnest but shy and reserved father is shattered by the unexpected arrival of eccentric uncle Pepin, a loud storyteller and globetrotter. Look out for many memorable set pieces such as the cutting of Maryška’s magnificently long hair to the dismay of the male population of the town, her subsequent public punishment and a chimney climbing scene straight from the Harold Lloyd or Buster Keaton playbook. A pure delight, it is a lyrical film evoking childhood memories and full of ridiculous situations, quirky humour and attractive looking beer.



The film will be available to rent for £4.99 via Second Run Vimeo on Demand (UK and Ireland only)
from 10 am on Sunday 25 October 2020 GMT till 10 am on Sunday 1 November 2020 GMT


Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, India 2018, 448 mins

Expansive, affectionate and deeply passionate, this is an extraordinary documentary film, a labour of love by Indian filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur. Deeply influenced by Jiří Menzel´s 1966 Closely Observed Trains, film director Dungarpur met his hero in 2010 to start a conversation which has culminated in an epic, seven-hour-plus film that not only explores the deceptively whimsical comic films of Menzel, but all of the artists who strove to make films that whispered subversion and rebellion often at the risk of their livelihood, or even their lives. Filmed over a period of seven years, Dungarpur and his team interviewed filmmakers, actors, crew members, writers, historians and critics who had been touched by the Czechoslovak New Wave - including Věra Chytilová, Miloš Forman, Vojtěch Jasný, Ivan Passer, Ken Loach, Juraj Jakubisko, Jaromír Šofr, Andrzej Wajda, Dušan Hanák, Štefan Uher, Jan Němec, and Miroslav Ondříček among others. More info about the Second Run's film release


JIŘÍ MENZEL (1938 – 2020)

With his debut feature film Closely Observed Trains (1966), Jiří Menzel became an important member of the Czech New Wave cinema and won an Academy Award. He started out as an assistant director and occasional actor following his graduation from the Prague film school FAMU. While at FAMU, he directed the short film The Death of Mr. Baltazar for the feature anthology Pearls of the Deep, a tribute to distinguished Czech author Bohumil Hrabal which became a Czechoslovak New Wave manifesto. Following the success of Closely Observed Trains, Menzel directed and acted in Capricious Summer (1968). In 1969, he filmed another Hrabal adaptation, Skylarks on a String which was banned from release until 1990 when upon its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, it won the Golden Bear prize. Menzel himself was banned from filmmaking until 1974 working mostly in the theatre as director and actor. During his whole career he directed over eighty productions ranging from Chekhov, Shakespeare, and Mozart to Havel and Michael Frayn. In the late 70s and 80s he returned to film and continued his collaboration with Bohumil Hrabal on the screenplays of Cutting It Short (1981) and The Snowdrop Festivities (1984). He was shortlisted for the Oscars for best foreign language film for the second time in his life with My Sweet Little Village (1986) while his satire The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin (1994) received international distribution. In 1990 Menzel produced Václav Havel’s play The Beggar’s Opera on stage in Prague which ran for over a year and in 1991 he directed its film version. In 2006 he completed a long-term project, I Served the King of England, another Hrabal adaptation which was followed by his last film The Don Juans in 2013.

Jiří Menzel obituary: the last of the Czech New Wave greats (Peter Hames, Sight&Sound)










VOD - online

From: 25 Oct 2020
To: 1 Nov 2020


Czech Centre

Remind me

day(s) before the event