Film Spa, part 1.

Apart from almost continuous drinking in past two weeks I prescribed myself an intense film treatment. Started two weeks ago in Prague, then taking place at IFF Karlovy Vary and ending in bed last night. Here is a brief recap of “drugs” used during this exhausting period. Part one, first four out of ten. Some of them still at cinemas around you (including Šary Vary, a IFF KV after-party).

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Directed by Wes Anderson, it is an amazingly entertaining story as you would expect from this talented genius. Well told, superbly executed. I love it, because “I am a wild animal”! And, last but not least, it is not a 3D CGI animation.


The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski knows a lot about politics, law and crime finishing this piece from his house arrest. The main character, a ghostwriter working on a memoirs of a former British prime-minister, “arrested” on an island close to U.S. east coast, put himself into a serious but hidden danger for a reasonable (?) money and observes he is caught in a trap. The only thing he doesn’t know is that it is a deathtrap. A brilliant thriller with great atmosphere, amazing locations and very good casting proving that the Art and commercial filmmaking can go hand-in-hand. Nevertheless Polanski didn’t escape fully cliche of the genre, he created another great story which is visually stunning thanks also to Pawel Edelman, the D.O.P. of the movie.


The Man From Hong Kong

It was directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith back in 1975. Trenchard was present at the festival in Karlovy Vary and this screening was introduced by the director himself. Mr. Trenchard spoke out his love for the saggy cinematography, he was honest and witty and he wished the audience good luck when he discovered that the sold out big auditorium of Thermal hotel is full of people like me- The Man From Hong Kong virgins. However it’s not possible to approach this film seriously, we’ve been entertained from the very first scene at Uluru rock and we’ve never thought that a rogallo can be such a critical weapon when fighting against a narco-mafia. With no doubts it is a classic of its genre – a kung-fu Bond-like movies of the Australian provenience in the “B movies” category. You know it is worth to see it again if you already saw it before and if not and you are not a film-critic, I just recommend this one for you for one of the sunday afternoons. Btw, some of the sex scenes are really, lets say, very 70’s!


Black Narcissus

Another piece of the history shown at IFF KV, remastered, as a part of a retrospective dedicated to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. They created this Technicolor movie in 1947 and its simple story leads from England to Himalaya where a bunch of nuns is trying to set up a monastery and educate and cure natives. It is very, lets say, straightforward screenplay full of temptation, danger, understanding, love towards God, love towards humankind or specific representatives of humankind, hate and many funny situations which help the story to swallow. Surprisingly, it’s not boring at all and the film has three strong highlights: one (or two, up to personal taste) beautiful nuns, stunning Technicolor picture with very artistic cinematography and interesting and for that time revolutionary set design as the whole mountain adveture is shot in studios in England with an amazing technical result.


Next time: Son of Babylon, La Isla Interior, Mr. Nobody (tweak me!), Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, The Gift and A Serious Man. And some unseen recommendations.

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Martin Destroyer

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