Seven Close Encounters 

Sedm blízkých setkání


The special atmosphere created by our audiences and the opinionated banter that permeate the Karlovy Vary colonnade and its surroundings during the first week in July are reasons why directors from around the world return to Karlovy Vary, eager to show their latest film at our festival.

Last year our Six Close Encounters program section introduced foreign filmmakers that we, the organizers, have formed solid relationships with over the years and who often number among our friends. Mindful of its success, for the KVIFF’s 51st edition, we decided to look closer to home and give a similar opportunity to renowned Czech directors. The result is Seven Close Encounters: a space where local film talents introduce Karlovy Vary audiences to a motion picture that’s close to their hearts – a movie that has significantly shaped their filmmaking career or fundamentally influenced them personally.

On the following pages you will find the movies chosen by Jan Hřebejk, who will also present the normalization era drama The Teacher in the main competition; David Ondříček, creator of the cult movie Loners and In the Shadow, winner of nine Czech Lions; the best-known Czech documentarist, Helena Třeštíková; Viktor Tauš, producer, director, and cofounder of Fog’n’Desire Films; Miroslav Janek, whose Normal Autistic Film will screen in the Documentary Competition; Jitka Rudolfová, who competed at Karlovy Vary with Dreamers and Desire; and the youngest of them all, Olmo Omerzu, with films screened at the Berlin and San Sebástian IFFs.

Karlovy Vary IFF

  • Another Way of Life O něčem jiném / O něčem jiném
    Directed by: Věra Chytilová
    Czechoslovakia, 1963, 82 min

    Helena Třeštíková presents

    The film alternates between the daily lives of its two heroines; one is Czech Olympic gymnast Eva Bosáková and the other is a housewife. Chytilová always countered attempts to view her feature-film debut as a mere confrontation between two different attitudes to life.

  • Chimes at Midnight Falstaff / Campanadas a medianoche
    Directed by: Orson Welles
    France, Spain, Switzerland, 1965, 113 min

    Viktor Tauš presents

    Supreme loyalty to the spirit of Shakespeare’s plays and the ultimate in cinematic mastery… If anyone were seeking this sort of calibre in the hundreds of Romeos and Juliets, Hamlets and Othellos they would never find anything that came remotely close to Orson Welles’s Falstaff. The endearingly libertine companion to Prince Hal (the future Henry V) is the natural, early Renaissance “godfather” of all great Wellesian fraudsters, inexorably bound to representatives of Order, who, sooner or later, reject and betray them – in the name of Law and Truth.

  • The Last Woman Poslední žena / La dernière femme
    Directed by: Marco Ferreri
    France, Italy, 1976, 118 min

    Jitka Rudolfová presents

    As early as the 1970s Ferreri was already banking on what today’s dramatists have developed even further, when he gave inner conflicts a physical, shocking and critical form. He was obsessed by the mechanisms of power games and saw what they did to couples’ relationships, where the man and woman are never able to form a harmonic union.

  • The Mouth Agape Otevřená tlama / La gueule ouverte
    Directed by: Maurice Pialat
    France, 1974, 82 min

    Olmo Omerzu presents

    Birth, childhood and youth, adulthood, falling in love, old age, death: few elect to depict the last of the various stages that constitute our lives. And virtually no-one has succeeded in capturing those final moments in a film – what they mean for the person who is dying and also for those gathered round the deathbed. Pialat’s work, hovering between a raw portrayal and a quasi-metaphysical contemplation, is simply a masterpiece.

  • O Lucky Man! Šťastný to muž / O Lucky Man!
    Directed by: Lindsay Anderson
    United Kingdom, 1973, 178 min

    David Ondříček presents

    In this second part of Anderson’s sarcastic trilogy bringing a taste of 1960s England, we meet Mick Travis as a company salesman who becomes an incredulous guide through a corrupt society. Malcolm McDowell once again excels in the main role, captured in the lens of Miroslav Ondříček, who also stood behind the camera for the director’s two previous pictures.

  • Romance for the Bugle Romance pro křídlovku / Romance pro křídlovku
    Directed by: Otakar Vávra
    Czechoslovakia, 1966, 86 min

    Jan Hřebejk presents

    The wistful call of the bugle rises above this lyrical story of first love, which takes hold over the course of a summer and ends with the death of the hero’s grandfather. A sense of anguish marks the boy's coming of age, a formative experience that viewers share as they are swept along by the force of Vávra’s poetic style.

  • The Sun in a Net Slnko v sieti / Slnko v sieti
    Directed by: Štefan Uher
    Czechoslovakia, 1962, 90 min

    Miroslav Janek presents

    First love isn’t always about romance: Two young people in the middle of a big city endeavour to find their place in the world and discover who they really are, while experiencing a measure of anguish along the way. Uher’s film ushered in the Czechoslovak New Wave, a movement that focused on authentic heroes and their singular experience of reality.


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