On August 14, 17, 24 & 31, 2011, American Cinematheque will screen a selection of films by Czeck director Frantisek Vlacil.
The Wall Street Journal recently described Frantisek Vlacil (1924 – 1999) as “a director whose work should be world-renowned,” acknowledging the inescapable fact that he is a filmmaker whose substantial body of work is barely known outside of the Czech Republic. Vlacil’s early short “Glass Skies” was awarded a prize at the 1957 Venice Film Festival; his powerfully evocative medieval dramas THE DEVIL’S TRAP and THE VALLEY OF THE BEES earned him comparisons with Bergman and Tarkovsky. MARKETA LAZAROVA, the haunting film widely acknowledged to be his masterpiece, was voted the best Czech film of all time, and yet Vlacil’s work has never been accorded the international attention that accrued to his slightly younger contemporaries including Jiri Menzel (CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS) and Milos Forman (THE FIREMEN’S BALL).
Vlacil’s films would be worth discovering for his mastery of the image alone, as seen in the stark, snowy landscapes of SERPENT’S POISON, or the mysteriously significant glimpses of nature that appear in all of his films. But Vlacil is a great deal more than a superb visual stylist; he is a visionary, a student of history and of human nature, a philosopher, and a seer whose metaphors apply from decade to decade. We invite you to discover this remarkable director during the short time that these rare 35mm prints remain in the U.S.
Join us for a tribute to this giant of Czech cinema, including screenings of SIRIUS, THE WHITE DOVE and SHADOWS OF A HOT SUMMER.
This touring exhibition was organized and its Los Angeles presentation supported by the following: National Film Archive, Prague; British Film Institute; Czech Centre London; Czech Center New York; Irena Kovarova; and Michal Sedlacek, Consulate General of Czech Republic in Los Angeles.
Sun, August 14 – 7:30pm
“Glass Skies” / “Art Nouveau In Prague” / SIRIUS / THE WHITE DOVE
Wed, August 17 – 7:30pm
THE VALLEY OF THE BEES
Wed, August 24 – 7:30pm
SHADOWS OF A HOT SUMMER
Wed, August 31 – 7:30pm