Archive of films May / Máj
2008, 74 min
Section: Czech Films 2008-2009
After the commercially successful film adaptation of K. J. Erben’s ballad collection Wild Flowers, director and cameraman F. A. Brabec chose to adapt another classic gem of Czech literature – the romantic epic poem by Karel Hynek Mácha. The love story of the highwayman and patricide Vilém and the beautiful Jarmila is transformed into a romantic drama full of passion and erotic sensuality.
After the commercially successful film adaptation of K. J. Erben’s ballads Wild Flowers, F. A. Brabec has come up with another adaptation of an "unfilmable” literary work: eight years after his poetic dramatisation of Erben’s collection of verse, he turned to another classic of Czech literature, the epic poem by Karel Hynek Mácha, May. As in the case of Wild Flowers, Brabec’s adaptation of this masterpiece of Czech Romanticism (published in 1836) also reveals his highly original conception as a writer-director. F. A. Brabec teamed up with co-scriptwriter Ivana Nováková to transform the atmospheric philosophical model into a highly colourful spectacle. Using the poem as a base, the filmmakers reconstructed and enhanced a dramatic story which draws on the visual and emotional spirit of the third millennium. The relationship triangle between the highwayman Vilém, his beloved Jarmila and Vilém’s father thus becomes a romantic drama full of passion and erotic sensuality, set in a beautiful landscape. The narrative acquires a timeless dimension through the character of the executioner who, in Brabec’s interpretation, merges with the narrator of the age-old story.
About the director
F. A. Brabec (František Antonín Brabec, b. 1954, Prague) studied film photography at Prague’s FAMU (1981) and is now one of the Czech Republic’s most highly rated directors of photography. He won the Camerimage Audience Award 2001 for his film ballad Wild Flowers (2000) and Czech Lions for the films Wild Flowers, Ubu roi (1996) and The Ride (1994). His collaboration with director Jan Svěrák was a landmark in his career (The Elementary School, 1991, Accumulator 1, The Ride, 1994), and he has naturally also worked with other distinguished directors – Irena Pavlásková (Time of the Servants, 1989, Corpus delicti, 1991, Bestiarium, 2007), Jan Němec (Code Name: Ruby, 1997), Juraj Jakubisko (second unit director on the film Bathory, 2008). In 1996 he gave his directing debut with an adaptation of the stage play by Alfred Jarry Ubu roi. He also filmed an adaptation of the collection of poems by Karel Jaromír Erben Wild Flowers, a modernised version of the classic tale The Pied Piper (2003) and the crime drama Bolero (2004).
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Czech Films 2008-2009|
|Screenplay:||Ivana Nováková, F. A. Brabec|
|Dir. of Photography:||F. A. Brabec|
|Cast:||Jan Tříska, Juraj Kukura, Matěj Stropnický, Sandra Lehnertová, Nina Divíšková, Kryštof Hádek, Vladimír Javorský|
|Contact:||Beltfilm, Bontonfilm, a.s., Czech Television - Telexport|
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