Films ordered by section
Seven Close Encounters
This year’s programming choice for the section which presents motion pictures that had a major influence on a number of friends of the Karlovy Vary fest fell to a group of people who have collaborated closely with KVIFF for years. They will introduce a treasured film to festival audiences in person as respected leaders in their field and as individuals without whose professionalism, resourcefulness, skill and, not least, sense of humour the festival would not be where it is today.
Marek Eben, a face inseparably linked with the gala opening and closing ceremonies, host, presenter, composer, musician and actor. Jan Mattlach, film editor, creator of the film cameos presented to distinguished guests who receive the festival’s award for outstanding contribution to cinema. Tono Stano, the photographer who uniquely immortalises our illustrious foreign guests each year; he also designed the festival award, the crystal statuette. Michal and Šimon Caban, stage designers and artistic directors of the gala opening and closing ceremonies. Aleš Najbrt, graphic designer, singer, creator of KVIFF’s visual style, including the festival posters. Ivan Zachariáš and Martin Krejčí, internationally acclaimed commercial directors and creators of the black-and-white film trailers which precede each festival screening.
3D2 1/7 10:00 Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre 7D9 5/7 21:30 Karlovy Vary Municipal TheatreDirected by: Bob Fosse
USA, 1979, 123min.
Jan Mattlach presents
Within a decade Bob Fosse shot two musicals that choreographically and musically reinvented the form of the genre, interconnecting an intricate storyline and the protagonists’ no less complicated inner worlds with musical dance passages. The autobiographical drama of a creator obsessed with his work, awarded the 1980 Palme d’Or at Cannes, was with fitting alacrity dubbed the musical equivalent of Fellini’s drama 8½.
2D9 30/6 21:30 Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre 6K7 4/7 22:30 Drahomíra CinemaDirected by: Alan Clarke
United Kingdom, 1987, 93min.
Michal and Šimon Caban present
This bizarre spectacle, combining horror, rock opera, and an ostentatiously faked mise-en-scène à la gothic, was perceived in the Thatcher era as a parable with socio-critical overtones. Billy the Kid is a young cockney while demonic snooker champion Maxwell Randall is an unscrupulous predator – but here they symbolize a generational conflict or the struggle between good and evil.
4D8 2/7 21:00 Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre 936 7/7 18:30 Congress HallDirected by: Michael Cimino
USA / United Kingdom, 1978, 182min.
Ivan Zachariáš presents
Even 40 years after this intense drama took five Academy Awards including Best Picture, it remains one of the most powerful films made about the Vietnam War. But in fact the director took his own route to making an action spectacular: he devotes only the middle part of his epically complex portrayal to the inferno of war, while the film’s remaining footage is split between the three friends before they are called up to serve in Vietnam and after they return. And the psychological and moral trauma they endure is just as painful as the physical maiming suffered by one of them.
1K6 29/6 20:00 Drahomíra Cinema 7D2 5/7 10:00 Karlovy Vary Municipal TheatreDirected by: David Lean
United Kingdom, 1962, 227min.
Martin Krejčí presents
Lean’s supreme mastery as a film director is manifested in this monumental epic, principally in the way he blended a character study of an ambiguous hero with a portrayal of complex historical events. The opulent production design, the composition of the battle scenes, the mesmerizing shots of the desert, the acting performances and compelling music brought the film seven Academy Awards plus the distinction of a work whose splendour is equal to its underlying message.
1L1 29/6 10:30 Lazne III Cinema 8D3 6/7 13:00 Karlovy Vary Municipal TheatreDirected by: František Vláčil
Czechoslovakia, 1967, 160min.
Tono Stano presents
This wide-ranging fresco, set in the early Middle Ages and focusing on the love between a pious virgin and an unruly heathen from a marauding yeomen family, is both a unique reconstruction of a distant epoch and an ecstatic poem. The expressive modernist work, capitalizing on the film achievements of the 1960s, is a singular accomplishment in Czech and world cinema.
5D9 3/7 21:30 Karlovy Vary Municipal TheatreDirected by: Woody Allen
United Kingdom / Ireland / Luxembourg, 2005, 124min.
Marek Eben presents
It was not Allen’s sole attempt at serious matter, yet this dark and disturbing drama about a young man’s rise to the higher circles of London society is the first film he shot abroad. It shines for its well-paced plot and its precisely delineated characters, but the work is especially engaging for pondering the extent to which we are subject to a fateful temptation and how far we are willing to muzzle our consciences to gain an advantage.
421 2/7 09:30 Small Hall 8D6 6/7 18:30 Karlovy Vary Municipal TheatreDirected by: Aki Kaurismäki
Finland, 1994, 60min.
Aleš Najbrt presents
Aki Kaurismäki’s style is immediately apparent. An economical approach and an ability – ostensibly employing the simplest means possible – to capture the essence of people and of life’s principal values. A flair for evoking an atmosphere in which melancholy blends with gentle irony. And this unconventional road movie documents the filmmaker’s penchant for his own perennial heroes and stories – diffident outsiders and their rarely fulfilled desire for happiness.