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Arnošt Lustig Through the Eyes of Jan NěmecJan Němec IFFR 2017 14′
A visionary portrait of Arnošt Lustig, survivor of the Holocaust and prominent Czech writer, whose works deeply influenced Jan Němec.
Between Minute 4 and 5Jan Němec IFFR 2017 10′
Forbidden to work on fiction, Němec was assigned to direct a social documentary. Focusing on Prague's emergency services, this was his last film before he was exiled from Czechoslovakia.
Code Name: RubyJan Němec IFFR 2017 80′
As if in a time machine, two lovers in Prague dive into the history of Europe while searching for a kind of Holy Grail, a stone that gives access to mystical knowledge. Archival footage, fiction and documentary meet and blend in this visionary montage film about a past that is never over and always wills to repeat itself.
The Czech ConnectionJan Němec IFFR 2017 36′
Jan Němec deconstructs his own identity, imagining and playing out different versions of his life and death. A truly experimental self-portrait.
Diamonds of the NightJan Němec IFFR 2017 63′
Two Jewish boys escape the train taking them to a Nazi concentration camp. Devastated and lost, they try to find their way through a hostile and completely disrupted world. Based on the autobiographical novel of Czech writer Arnošt Lustig, this film is Němec's feature debut and his first groundbreaking masterpiece.
Ester Krumbachová Through the Eyes of Jan NěmecJan Němec IFFR 2017 15′
The muse and co-creator of the best works from the Czechoslovak New Wave, credited for giving the Wave its distinct look, is portrayed here by her former partner Jan Němec.
The Ferrari Dino GirlJan Němec IFFR 2017 68′
While documenting the Prague Spring of 1968, Němec and his crew watched and filmed in horror the Soviet tanks invading his country. The resulting four reels of footage are shown in full in this personal flashback and reconstruction of that night, as is the Ferrari-powered smuggling of the record out of the country.
Flames of Royal LoveJan Němec IFFR 2017 87′
The marriage between an eccentric prince and a diabolical cleaning lady leads to debauch in the royal family. This adaptation of Ladislav Klíma's novel mixes the imagined past and the realities of Prague after the Velvet Revolution. Featuring all kinds of madness, it is a sarcastic phantasmagoria with a touch of pure anarchy.
Golden Sixties: Jan NěmecMartin Šulík IFFR 2017 58′
In a documentary from a series of 26 portraits of the Czechoslovak New Wave filmmakers, director Martin Šulík interviews Jan Němec about the exceptional 1960s, the formative period of his career, and what led to the production of his best-known films, as well as his exile from his homeland.
Heart Above the CastleJan Němec IFFR 2017 48′
At the end of his presidency, Václav Havel hosted a NATO summit in Prague. His distant cousin Jan Němec gets behind the scenes to shoot 'a special poetic film'.
Heart Beat 3DJan Němec IFFR 2017 65′
Enthusiastic about digital technologies, Němec took up a long-gestating script he wrote with Václav Havel in the 1960s and decided mid-production to shoot the film in 3D. Partly a crime story, partly a visual three-dimensional collage, this film became the first Czech film in 3D. With a twist.
Jan Němec and the Czechoslovak New Wave – Film PostersIFFR 2017
An exhibition of unique film posters (from the Terry Poster Collection) dating from before 1989, created by prominent designers from Czechoslovakia. Featuring posters for the films of Jan Němec and other directors from the Czechoslovak New Wave. Whereas in Western countries posters had a commercial purpose, in Central and Eastern Europe they were seen more as an art form.
Landscape of My HeartJan Němec IFFR 2017 63′
A visit to Prague by the most powerful man in the world coincides with Jan Němec's heart operation. He captures both events in a philosophical video diary, in doing so reporting on what is probably the most important day of his life.
Late Night Talks with MotherJan Němec IFFR 2017 69′
Němec took inspiration from Kafka’s Letter to His Father to create a highly stylized self-portrait in the form of a dialogue with his long-deceased mother. A rumination on his own life and testimony on human experience, the film is also a brief history of the 20th century. A jewel.
The Life of Singer Marta Kubišová Through the Eyes of Jan NěmecJan Němec IFFR 2017 14′
Portrait of the poster child of the Prague Spring, who was a major pop star before the Soviet tanks rolled in, only to see her flourishing career cut short.
A Loaf of BreadJan Němec IFFR 2017 12′
Czechoslovakia during the Nazi occupation. Young prisoners exhausted by famine plan to steal some bread from a German train. Němec's first film already represents his innovative vision.
Martyrs of LoveJan Němec IFFR 2017 71′
A luscious non-political musical comedy, this three-part ballad uses music to stand in for dialogue. Mounting a defense of timid, inhibited, clumsy and unsuccessful individuals, the three protagonists are a complete antithesis of the industrious heroes of Socialist aesthetics.
A Memory for the PresentJan Němec IFFR 2017 10′
Disturbing archival images of World War Two are juxtaposed with Němec's observations of a post-war 'liberated' Czechoslovakia. A montage as a visual poem.
Mutter und SohnJan Němec IFFR 2017 11′
Commissioned at the Amsterdam Film Festival, this absurdist parable about the doting mother of a brutal torturer was shot without permission of the Czechoslovak authorities.
Oratorio for PragueJan Němec IFFR 2017 26′
Intended to capture the hopeful atmosphere of the Prague Spring, Němec instead filmed its transition into the bloody occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet army in 1968. A unique document of resistance.
The Party and the GuestsJan Němec IFFR 2017 70′
An idyllic picnic with a group of friends is interrupted by an invasion by authoritative strangers, who playfully turn the picnickers into their subordinates. A universal allegory on human nature, the film is at once highly manipulative and highly manipulated. One of Němec's most provocative and grotesque films.
Pearls of the DeepJan Němec, Jiří Menzel, Evald Schorm, Věra Chytilová, Jaromil Jireš IFFR 2017 107′
A manifesto of the Czechoslovak New Wave, this omnibus film consists of five shorts by five filmmakers. Němec's segment, Impostors, is a portrait of two eccentric old men in a hospital. They boast about their pasts and share memories, which sound like fiction. A brilliant take on the nature of mystification.
The Strahov DemonstrationJan Němec IFFR 2017 32′
An unprecedented demonstration of discontent by students in 1967 leads Němec to give them a voice on camera – much to the displeasure of the Communist establishment.
ToyenJan Němec IFFR 2017 63′
In an avant-garde manner, mixing different images and visual textures, Němec pays homage to the great Czech surrealist Marie Čermínová, who worked under the name Toyen. The result is an enigmatic symphony based on imagination and associations. Or, as Němec called it, "a pure film".
True Stories: Peace in Our Time?Otto Olejár, Jan Němec IFFR 2017 99′
In one of his most straightforward documentaries, Němec tackles his nation’s trauma: the signing of the Munich Treaty, which lead to the disarming and occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Considering Lord Chamberlain the culprit, the mischievous director uses comedy sketches with John Cleese to lighten the mood.
Die VerwandlungJan Němec IFFR 2017 55′
In his typically personal approach, Němec adapts Kafka’s famous story by depicting Samsa’s world through a subjective camera, emphasizing his inner world and his observation of his shocked family.
The Wolf from Royal Vineyard StreetJan Němec IFFR 2017 68′
For the final film of his career, Němec adapted his recent book of quasi-autobiographical stories; based on his life, but not without mystification and mischief, hallmarks of his entire oeuvre. From Cannes to Yale University and partially shot guerilla-style, the then 80-year-old director demonstrates that being a punk has nothing to do with age.