Archive of films Late Night Talks With Mother / Noční hovory s matkou

Czech Republic
2002, 69 min

Section: Czech Films 2002-2003
Year: 2003

An artistically experimental feature film shot by the enfant terrible of Czech cinema as a counterpart to Kafka’s Letter to His Father. But here, in this clever disputation on the director’s life, the addressee is his dead ophthalmologist mother. The film took the Golden Leopard for video at the 2001 Locarno IFF. 


An artistically experimental feature film with heavily autobiographical elements from the enfant terrible of Czech cinema, Jan Němec. The director carries out a cinematic-psychoanalytic probe into his own fate. In this cleverly stylised movie (a seeming counterpart to Kafka’s Letter to His Father) the protagonist entreats his dead mother to grant him absolution. Her profession as an ophthalmologist serves as one of the key formal motifs in a cinematic confession whose central “axis” is the Prague tramline running from the equestrian statue at the top of Wenceslas Square to the crematorium in Strašnice. Though the filmmaker’s forced exile temporarily removed him from places where he lived and where the most important people in his life appeared, the tramline became a metaphoric path: half intimately painful, half showy reconciliation with his own tempestuous life. Originally shot on video, the film took the Golden Leopard for video at the 2001 Locarno IFF.

About the director

Jan Němec (b. 1936, Prague) had already achieved success at FAMU  by the time he made his feature debut Diamonds of the Night (1964 – Grand Prix at the Mannheim IFF), today considered one of the top works of the Czech new wave. He then contributed a segment to Pearls of the Deep (1965), following it up with Martyrs of Love (1966) and The Party and the Guests (1966 –Grand Prize at the Bergamo IFF). The short Mother and Son brought him the Grand Prize at Oberhausen, while Oratorio for Prague, a documentary focusing on the 1968 Soviet invasion, won the FIPRESCI Prize at Mannheim. In 1974 he was exiled by not being allowed to return home. While abroad he shot noteworthy films including an adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis (1975), Peace in our Time? (1988, TV) and The Poet Remembers (1989, TV). In 1990 he directed the provocative comedy The Flames of Royal Love, and six years later he added Code Name: Ruby to his filmography. 


Asociace českých filmových klubů
Stonky 860, 686 01, Uherské Hradiště
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 572 501 989
Fax: +420 572 501 400
E-mail: [email protected]

Jan Němec - Film
Národní 34, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 222 715 099
Fax: +420 296 330 959
E-mail: [email protected]

Facets Multi-Media Inc.
1517 West Fullerton Ave., IL 60614, Chicago
United States of America
Tel: +1 773 281 9075
Fax: +1 773 929 5437
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Czech Films 2002-2003
Director: Jan Němec
Screenplay: Jan Němec
Dir. of Photography: Jan Němec
Music: Jan Němec
Editor: Iva Ruszeláková
Producer: Iva Ruszeláková, Jan Němec
Production: Jan Němec Film
Cast: Karel Roden, Zuzana Stivínová
Contact: Asociace českých filmových klubů, Jan Němec - Film, Facets Multi-Media Inc.


Jan Němec

Film Director / Producer


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