Czechoslovak movies to set foot in Iloilo

AS PART of the momentous centennial celebration of the Czech and Slovak independence, Czechoslovak movies will set foot in Iloilo City.

In partnership with the Honorary Consulate of Slovakia and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the film festival is set to bring forth five distinguished masterpieces from the last century.

The four-day film festival entitled Magnificent Black and White: Czechoslovak New Wave Cinema of 1960s will be held at Cinematheque, Iloilo City Proper.

The opening will be on Sept 13, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. and it will be graced by guest of honors including Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Philippines Jaroslav Olšajr; Deputy Head of Mission of the Czech Embassy Jana Peterková; Honorary Consul of Slovakia Rex Siy; and FDCP Festival Development Lead Officer Jo Andrew Torlao.

Kick-starting the celebration on its opening night is the multi-awarded love comedy Loves of a Blonde (1965) by renowned Czech director Miloš Forman which earned the Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Foreign Language Film.

Three other Czechoslovak key works to be featured are the tragicomedy-dramas:
TheShop on Main Street (1965)by Ján Kadár and Elmar Kloswhich explores the horrors of a Nazi totalitarian regime and is the only Slovak film which ever won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1966; The Cremator (1969)by Juraj Herz depict show a brutal ideology can transform a dutiful citizen into a psychopathic monster.;andthe sci-fi adventure crowd-favorite Ikarie XB-1 (1963) which embodies the flamboyant imagination of deep space.

Apart from these films, there is also the inspiring documentary by Miloslav Šmídmajer on the life and works of director Miloš Forman, Miloš Forman: What Doesn’t Kill You… (2009).

The Czechoslovak New Wave is a term used for the progressive Czechoslovak movies produced in the 1960s –a short period known as “Prague Spring” which brought democratization and political liberalization. The movies produced in those years, thanks to its unprecedented quality and openness, are also called “Czechoslovak film miracle”.

JiříMenzel, Miloš Forman, and Věra Chytilová, to name a few, are the most famous faces of the movement. The short-lived Czechoslovak New Wave movement was unfortunately halted in summer 1968 by the invasion of Warsaw Pact armies and by the return toa previous rigid totalitarian regime. Many of the “New Wave” films were banned after completion, getting released only after the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

Expressing his awe for this celebration, Ambassador Olšajr says, “Czechoslovak New Wave Cinema was a milestone in the cultural history of then Czechoslovakia when democratic freedom was allowed to be expressed in all forms. Films produced in this period are living icons of this progressive impulse.

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