News "Jan-Němec" Wolf Opens Official Selection

Published: July 02, 2016| 05:07 PM

"I'd like to have a film in the selection and win a Crystal Globe for it," said the enfant terrible of Czech film, Jan Němec, in Karlovy Vary in 2006 upon accepting a prize for his contribution to world cinematography. The first half of that wish, at least, has been granted him this year, although regrettably Němec did not live to see the premiere of his new film, The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street. He passed away in March this year and so three young talented people from FAMU – Tomáš Klein, Tomáš Michálek and Jakub Felcman – have helped get the wistful comedy, inspired by Němec's own life story, into the Official Selection.

"It was difficult watching out not to over embellish the film. Every day our creative group debated whether Jan Němec would have flogged us," Tomáš Michálek related at the press conference. Thanks to their efforts, The Wolf has remained a "Jan-Němec" film. What, exactly, does this adjective mean? "To get to the core, try something new, not to give a damn about what is right and proper," said Michálek by way of describing Němec's style. "I liked the way he didn't crap out but went and created something, while at the same time he was scared of how it would turn out," added Klein.

The director cast as his alter ego Karel Roden and Jiří Mádl, allegedly to ensure that "an audience of at least 700,000" would come to his film. "I was determined not to do it, but Jan Němec smooth-talked me. I didn't have a screenplay, though, and I suffered at the beginning, until I told myself that I had to enjoy it – and it worked," said Jiří Mádl of the unusual collaboration.

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