Archive of films Signum Laudis / Signum laudis

Czechoslovakia
1980, 85 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2018

The trenches of World War I provide for a captivating backdrop to the drama of Corporal Hoferik. In his devotion to the Habsburg Monarchy, he fanatically carries out his military orders, but he ultimately suffers the Empire’s disfavor. The director brings uncommon intensity to bear as he vividly portrays this anomalous and historically oft-repeated paradox.


Synopsis

Set on the Eastern Front during World War I, the story functions as both psychological drama and parable. The former concerns the portrait of Corporal Hoferik, who blindly obeys orders even at the cost of needlessly sacrificing his soldiers’ lives. The latter focuses on the theme of power, the agents of which don’t hesitate to abandon even their most devoted servant in a moment of need. A carefully constructed script, sophisticated dialogue that is cleverly repeated in a variety of significant contexts, and a vivid evocation of ubiquitous ruin – all serve to draw the viewer in. Vlado Müller shines in the starring role, and thanks to careful casting, each and every bit part is memorable. The jury conferred the Special Jury Prize upon Signum Laudis at the 22nd Karlovy Vary IFF in 1980.

Zdena Škapová

About the director

Martin Hollý (1931, Košice, Czechoslovakia – 2004, Bratislava, Slovakia). Selected filmography: A Case for the Defense Attorney (1964), The Judge and His Executioner (1966, TV film), The Man Who Lies (1968, co-dir. Alain Robbe-Grillet), The Ballad of the Seven Hanged (1968, TV film), The Copper Tower (1970), Eagle Feather (1971), The Sin of Katarína Padychová (1973), Death Made to Measure (1979), The Dead Teach the Living (1983), Silent Pain (1990), A Chateau in Bohemia (1993, TV film), Suspicion (1993), A Royal Game (1999, TV film)

Contacts

Slovenský filmový ústav / Slovak Film Institute
Grösslingová 32, 811 09, Bratislava
Slovakia
Tel: +421 257 101 503
Fax: +421 252 963 461
E-mail: sfu@sfu.sk
www: www.sfu.sk, www.aic.sk

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Out of the Past
   
Director: Martin Hollý
Screenplay: Vladimír Kalina, Jiří Křižan
Dir. of Photography: František Uldrich
Music: Zdeněk Liška
Editor: Ivana Kačírková
Art Director: Vladimír Dvořák
Production: Slovenská filmová tvorba Bratislava, Koliba
Coproduction: Filmové studio Barrandov
Cast: Vlado Müller, Josef Bláha, Ilja Prachař, Radovan Lukavský, Jiří Kodet, Oldřich Velen
Sales: Slovenský filmový ústav / Slovak Film Institute

Guests

Rastislav Steranka

Film Institution Rep.

YouTube

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