Archive of films Mud-Covered City / Zablácené město

Czechoslovakia
1963, 8 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2013

This classic documentary by Václav Táborský depicts the ups and downs of life on a new housing estate in Prague’s Malešice district. The film captures the enthusiasm of young families moving into their new flats, but also the setbacks associated with mass construction at the time: muddy streets, failures in the water supply, and heating problems.


Synopsis

This short documentary by Václav Táborský depicts the ups and downs of life on a new housing estate in Prague’s Malešice district. The film captures the enthusiasm of young families moving into their new flats, but also the setbacks associated with mass construction at the time: muddy streets, failures in the water supply, and heating problems. "The greatest impediment to documentary filmmaking in communist countries, still apparent well into the 1960s (Poland was perhaps something of an exception), was the approval system. The filmmaker had to first submit a script and then he was permitted to shoot life as it played out – unsurprisingly – in a way that was typically quite different from a fictitious literary plot. Today it’s ironic that we had to write the screenplay for events which hadn’t yet occurred or ran their course, but that’s how it was,” states director Táborský on filming conditions in communist Czechoslovakia. The film will be screened in its digitally restored version together with A Bag of Fleas by Věra Chytilová.

About the director

Václav Táborský (b. 1928, Prague) studied at FAMU and, from 1954, he made dozens of films revealing his preference for the film feuilleton and satirical documentary (Tinkers, 1961; Mud-Covered City, 1963; Ideas of a Detective-Story Reader, 1965). He also made two feature films based around children and adolescents (Taking Refuge in the Wind, 1965; Miraculous Puzzle, 1967). In 1968 he emigrated to Canada with his wife, film editor and director Dagmar Táborská, where he completed Seven to Remember, compiled from footage captured in Czechoslovakia in August 1968; he chiefly taught in Toronto (York University). He wrote several books such as Memoirs of a Movieman (2000) and Movieman and Man-Eaters (2013). After his wife’s death (2005) he set up the Dagmar and Václav Táborský Foundation, which presents annual awards to young documentarists up to the age of 35.

Contacts

National Film Archive
Malešická 12, 130 00, Praha 3
Czech Republic
E-mail: nfa@nfa.cz
www: www.nfa.cz

About the film

Black & white, DCP

Section: Out of the Past
   
Director: Václav Táborský
Screenplay: Václav Táborský
Dir. of Photography: Eduard Sigrot
Music: Ferdinand Havlík
Editor: Josef Pejsar
Production: DF Praha
Contact: National Film Archive

Guests

Aleš Rumpel

Film Institution Rep., Festival Organizer

YouTube

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