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Jan Palach  /  The Ear

Jan Palach
April 6, 2019 - 7:30 pm

Jan Palach  (Czech Republic, 2018)

Jan Palach, an uncompromising young man, made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of rousing the nation from its growing lethargy and of protesting the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. This biopic describes the last months of Palach’s life, describing his path from an affectionate son, devoted friend and sensitive philosophy student to the “Torch number 1.”

DCP, color, in Czech with English subtitles, 124 min. Director: Robert Sedláček. Screenwriter: Eva Kanturková. Cast: Maëlane Auffray, Michael Balcar, Denisa Baresová. 

The Ear  (Czechoslovakia, 1970)


A boldfaced, haunting satire in the vein of Juraj Herz’s wicked, legendary The Cremator (Spalovač mrtvol, 1969), Karel Kachyna’s Czech New Wave classic is as arresting as early Cassavetes and as paranoid as The Conversation, which came four years later. Like Taylor and Burton’s Martha and George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Anna (Jirina Bohdalová) and Ludvik (Radoslav Brzobohatý) spend most of the film in a brutal verbal and physical altercation, spurred by their imbibements at a political dinner and the sudden realization, upon returning home for the night, that their house has possibly been burgled. Banned from release until 1989, when Czechoslovakia saw its first two-party government and democratic elections in 41 years, we celebrate The Ear in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.

DCP, b/w, in Czech with English subtitles, 94 min. Director: Karel Kachyna. Screenwriter: Karel Kachyna, Jan Procházka, Ladislav Winkelhöfer. Cast: Jirina Bohdalová, Radoslav Brzobohatý, Gustav Opocenský.

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