timespace coordinates: Europe at night (2008 – 2010)
Abendland is a 2011 observational documentary film by Nikolaus Geyrhalter. The documentary, which has only scenes at night, explores European obsession with technology and security. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called Abendland a “visually precise and politically amorphous” portrait of an imagined community: “The overall impression is a vision of Europe as a mosaic, as an artful amalgam of perfectly framed, seemingly disconnected moments during a long shared night, give or take a time zone change or two.” (wiki)
imdb / review
timespace coordinates: 1930 Germany – 1942 PragueThe Man with the Iron Heart (released as HHhH in France and Killing Heydrich in Canada) is an English-language French-Belgian biographical war drama-thriller film directed by Cédric Jimenez and written by David Farr, Audrey Diwan, and Jimenez. It is based on French writer Laurent Binet‘s novel HHhH, and focuses on Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in Prague during World War II. The film stars Jason Clarke, Rosamund Pike, Jack O’Connell, Jack Reynor, and Mia Wasikowska. (wiki)
The original working title of this film, “HHhH”, is a war-time Gestapo acronym for Himmlers Hirn heißt Heydrich (“Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich”),
“When I was a little girl, I would imagine that each of these trees was a sentry watching
over me as I passed by. I wish you could have seen it in those days. We had a party every weekend. There were vast buffets, flowers everywhere. There would be an orchestra
who would play all night. And when it was time to go to bed I would hide under the piano so my mother couldn’t find me. I wish you could have seen it in those times…”
spacetime coordinates: Czechoslovakia, 1963 >> 1930’s – 1940’s Prague
I Served the King of England (Czech: Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále) is a 2006 comedy film written and directed by Czech New Wave master Jiří Menzel, based on the novel I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal. It is Menzel’s sixth adaptation of the works of Hrabal for film.
“A look at the glamorous life at an old-world Prague hotel.”
spacetime coordinates: Czechoslovakia during the 1980sPupendo is a 2003 Czech comedy / drama film directed by Jan Hřebejk. A bittersweet comedy set just prior to 1984, during the era of ‘practical socialism’. For political reasons, Bedrich Mára (Bolek Polívka) has had to give up teaching at Prague’s Academy of Art. He is not allowed to exhibit and has been pushed to the sidelines of interest and lucrative commissions. He and his ceramicist wife (Eva Holubová) and two sons live in a small apartment on the outskirts of Prague.
Kooky (Czech: Kuky se vrací, literally “Kuky returns”, a pun on Lassie se vrací) is a 2010 Czech action comedy film directed by Jan Svěrák. The film combines techniques of puppet animation, stop motion and live action. It tells the story of a six-year-old asthmatic boy whose parents throw him away his favorite toy, an old teddy bear named Kooky. The boy, however, secretly sneaks out of the house at night to retrieve Kooky from the garbage can and bring him back home. Due to that, the boy gets ill. In his feverish dreams, Kooky comes to life in the landfill, escapes into a mysterious forest and begins its journey amongst the rough-and-ready creatures of the forest.
The film was inspired by the works of the Czech sculptor and painter František Skála, who refused to participate in the production. Svěrák offered collaboration on the technical development of puppets and visual effects to Jakub Dvorský from the video game company Amanita Design. The puppets in the film were manipulated by the members of the ensemble Buchty a loutky. During the post-production process, Svěrák and his team concentrated on removing the strings and wires with the help of computer animation. Kooky is technically the most complicated film by Svěrák; it contains three times more visual effects than Dark Blue World, the most expensive Czech film up to that point. In addition to fictional puppet figures, the film makes use of real animals (fox, butterfly, snail, frog etc.)
spacetime coordinates: autumn and around Christmas 1989 to the backdrop of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution // jeseniky mountains // small railway station Bílý Potok // Prague
Alois Nebel is a 2011 Czech animated drama / neo-noir directed by Tomáš Luňák, based on the comic-book trilogy by Jaroslav Rudiš and Jaromír 99.
It is set in the late 1980s in a small village in the Jeseník Mountains, close to the Polish border, and tells the story of a train dispatcher who begins to suffer from hallucinations where the present converges with the dark past of the expulsion of Germans after World War II. The black-and-white film was animated mainly through rotoscoping and stars Miroslav Krobot as the title character.