Six Close Encounters 

  • The Blue Lagoon Modrá laguna / The Blue Lagoon
    Directed by: Randal Kleiser
    USA, 1980, 104 min

    The film I’ve chosen to show is The Blue Lagoon. I have seen this more times than I can count (though most of those times I was still in high school). What makes me come back to it isn’t only its romantic vision of an earthly paradise, but how it is also a metaphorical paradise, where young people learn about and experience love without any rules or restrictions from any larger society. It is naïve and pure by design — a rarity in cinema.

    Boyd van Hoeij

  • The Mirror Zrcadlo / Zerkalo
    Directed by: Andrey Tarkovsky
    USSR, 1975, 108 min

    My first proper teaching post, in 2001, was in Prague. I would frequent the screening room of a tatty little video rental store on Dlouhá Street to watch old movies. I saw Tarkovsky’s Mirror there one winter afternoon, discovering the most intuitive, poetic sequences ever made. The sincerely spiritual might be out of fashion, but Tarkovsky’s fierce commitment to his creative vision rests on the kind of integrity cinema must never lose.

    Carmen Gray

  • The Searchers Stopaři / The Searchers
    Directed by: John Ford
    USA, 1956, 114 min

    When I was just 15, I fell in love with classic Hollywood films. Most films that “experts” said were great struck me as such, too, but one did not: The Searchers. At the time, I found Ford’s film slow and confusing and Wayne´s character repugnant. From reading everything I could find about the film, watching it over and over again, something remarkable happened: I came to love The Searchers. I now think it’s as beautiful, layered and powerful as any film ever made in America.

    Scott Feinberg

  • A Short Film about Killing Krátký film o zabíjení / Krótki film o zabijaniu
    Directed by: Krzysztof Kieślowski
    Poland, 1987, 85 min

    Why Krzysztof Kieślowski? Because I miss him a lot. He was a unique artist who told us so much about the world and about ourselves. I chose A Short Film about Killing, which can be summarised in just one sentence: a twenty-year-old man murders a taxi driver, and is convicted and hanged.  It is a story about a world where evil is commonplace. All the more reason to bring this film to the audience’s attention once again. As a powerful warning.

    Barbara Hollender

  • The Spirit of the Beehive Duch úlu / El espíritu de la colmena
    Directed by: Víctor Erice
    Spain, 1973, 97 min

    My love for The Spirit of the Beehive has been constant since my first year of university in Johannesburg, when it was shown to me on VHS by my film-obsessed Spanish teacher. Víctor Erice's shimmering, amber-lit masterpiece is cinema’s most poetic study of childhood imagination, how it is moulded and how it in turn moulds us forever… Bringing it to Karlovy Vary is akin to sharing a dream space.

    Guy Lodge

  • WR: Mysteries of the Organism WR – mystéria organismu / W.R. – Misterije organizma
    Directed by: Dušan Makavejev
    Yugoslavia, Germany, 1971, 84 min

    Around 1971, while walking down Oxford Street, we passed by the Mecca of London’s art houses at the time, the Academy Cinema, which was showing something called The Mysteries of the Organism. All of a sudden, cinema took a new dimension in our eyes; it was fresh, impertinent, joyously radical, a melting pot of documentary, archive footage and pure fiction, an exploration of Wilhelm Reich’s theories on sexual energies. There is no better proof that movies weren’t just about telling stories – they could take you much further…

    Dan Fainaru, Edna Fainaru


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