LARKS ON A STRING 1969
(Skřivánci na niti)
Directed by Jiří Menzel
In Czech with English subtitles
This is a long-missing film by the famous Czech director Jiří Menzel (Closely Watched Trains). Many sources will say that this film was made in 1990... but that's only because it was banned for 20 years! This surreal movie, which doubles as a sharp attack on anonymous totalitarian bureaucracies, takes place entirely in a junkyard... where those who have been outcast from the system (including renegade intellectuals) have been sent to be "re-educated". This film is witty, lyrical, often erotically charged, and full of black humor. It follows the lives of a professor, a saxophonist, and a milkman. They meet in this education camp and avoid work as much as possible... instead they laugh, tell stories, philosophize, warm their hands from the fire in a trash can.
Jiří Menzel created this flick together with writer Bohumil Hrabal, and this film is, in the end, an ode to the Czech people's lust for life and a "celebration of the resilience of the human spirit" against all odds. Like I said, no one could see this film for several decades, and when it was finally screened at the Berlin film festival in 1990 it won the Grand Prize. A beautiful snapshot of the former East Bloc, with parallels to what is still happening today. Did I mention that it is also a bittersweet love story?
This will be a high-definition screening. Limited to 22 vistiors.