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An expert on the Czech soul: A retrospective of Pavel Koutecký

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It is not a mere chance that Pavel Koutecký ranked among the association’s leading collaborators. Koutecký seems to have been predetermined for the position of a “filmmaker-sociologist” by his constant interest in the current course of events and great social topics. So did his signature style based on the method of careful, non-invasive observation. However, Pavel Koutecký only seems to have fulfilled this “role” in his works.


It is not a mere chance that Pavel Koutecký ranked among the association’s leading collaborators. Koutecký seems to have been predetermined for the position of a “filmmaker-sociologist” by his constant interest in the current course of events and great social topics. So did his signature style based on the method of careful, non-invasive observation. However, Pavel Koutecký only seems to have fulfilled this “role” in his works.

In the end, his films are too captivated, engaged and open in their relation to people both in front of the camera and behind it to be labelled as the result of scientific analysis; luckily both for the filmmaker and the spectator. That, however, does not mean that Koutecký is not admirably accurate and truthful in his social probes. He has been especially sensitive when selecting the themes of his films and primarily the “sociological sample” of his protagonists. The individual scenes of his films could be described and analysed at length. When former Czech politician Martin Mejstřík speaks in The Years After, 1989-1994 (only a year after the Velvet Revolution!) about his bitterness concerning the futile struggle for the Union of Socialist Youth’s misappropriated property, he basically describes the fundamental problem of the post-revolution economic transformation in a nutshell. When Ivan Medek analyses the character of Václav Klaus at a meeting of the presidential office as depicted in Citizen Havel, especially the Czech audiences will appreciate his exact and telling words.

Nevertheless, there are two essential reasons why Koutecký cannot be categorized “merely” as a sociologist. Firstly, there is the absence of any conclusions. On the level of interpretation, Koutecký, as a true artist, remains rather open; after all, what he cares about as a filmmaker is the story and the protagonists rather than data and knowledge. The second reason is closely related to the first one; despite the apparent objectivity of his observational method, the director remains firmly engaged in his story and primarily in his relationship to his “social actors” who never lose their unique personality in front of his camera.

Together with the majority of Koutecký’s fundamental works (The Years After, Citizen Havel, Prague Spring. Opus No. 1-3, The End of Czechoslovakia in the Parliament and others), the www.dafilms.com portal also presents a film collection including the winners of the previous editions of the Pavel Koutecký Award; A Low-level Flight (by Jan Šikl), The Tadpole, the Rabbit and the Holy Ghost(/film/2226-pulec-kralik-a-duch-svaty/) (by Filip Remunda), The Unwelcome (by Tomáš Škrdlant), Country of Dreams (by Martin Ryšavý) and Earthlings, Who Are You Voting For? (by Linda Kallistová Jablonská and Inventura civic association).

In the week from June 11 to 17, you can stream films by Czech director Pavel Koutecký (1956-2006) and award-winning films by Pavel Koutecký Award; FOR FREE (the film Country of dreams is charged for fee).


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Films for the event

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It's Spring in Prague Every Year/It's the Prague Spring Every Year, Opus No. 1

Každý rok je v Praze jaro, každý rok je Pražské jaro. Opus I (Orig.) / 2005 / Czech Republic / 58 min

Two clarinet players, one Czech and one Israeli, first sing to one another over the phone and then send each other emails with photographs of their concert gowns...

Detail…

psano pro prazske jaro_2

Written for Prague Spring. Opus 3

Psáno pro pražské jaro. Opus 3 (Orig.) / 2007 / Czech Republic / 58 min

Opus Three - The final part of Pavel Koutecký's trilogy of Prague Spring is made up of two compositions specially created for the festival.

Detail…

Po_letech_1989_1994_1

The Years After, 1989-1994

Po letech 1989-1994 (Orig.) / 1994 / Czech Republic / 70 min

Another in the series of films in which the director interviews several people who were involved in the social developments after 1989.

How have they changed? What have they changed? Jan Ruml, Michael Kocáb, Marta Kubišová andMartin Mejstřík during the five years after 1989.

Detail…

zanik_cs_v_parlamentu_1

The End of Czechoslovakia in Parliament

Zánik Československa v parlamentu (Orig.) / 1993 / Czech Republic / 75 min

This film captures the events which took place in the early 1990's in the famous building between the museum and theatre. The film gradates with each parliament session until the funeral feast for the federation at the end.

Detail…

Pot_slzy_1

Sweat and Tears - The Making of The Prague Spring.Opus No.2

Pot a slzy Pražského jara. Opus 2 (Orig.) / 2006 / Czech Republic / 58 min

The documentary Pot a slzy Pražského jara (The Sweat and Tears of the Prague Spring Festival), subtitled Opus 2, is the last completed film by the late director Pavel Koutecký. It captures two contrasting worlds: the story of young musicians starting out is intertwined with portraits of world-renowned masters.

Detail…

Oj_to_byl_boj_1

Oh, What a Struggle It Was!

Oj, to byl boj! (Orig.) / 1992 / Czech Republic / 7 min

In this playful experimental film, documentary maker and animator Pavel Koutecký captures Prague during campaigning for the first free elections in 1990.

Detail…

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Citizen Havel

Občan Havel (Orig.) / 2007 / Czech Republic / 120 min

Begun in 1992 and stemming from a chain of historical events all wedded to the person of Václav Havel, director Pavel Koutecký set out to render a portrait of the first president of Czech Republic.

Detail…

Amici_Dancin_With_Friends_1

Amici - Dancing With Friends

Amici, tanec s přáteli (Orig.) / 1993 / Czech Republic / 30 min

Amici is a London dance group formed from the mentally and physically handicapped as well as so- called "normal" people. Each member of the group lives his or er own life, they meet once a week, in order to enrich the lives of the others, so that they come to know one another and experience joy from common creative activities.

Detail…

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American In Prague Or Partnership For Jazz

Kde byl Bill aneb partnerství pro jazz (Orig.) / 1994 / Czech Republic / 28 min

The jazz evening took place in the Reduta club in Prague on the 10th of Januay 1994 during which American President Bill Clinton performed on the saxophone with top Czechoslovak jazz musicians.

Detail…

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The Sportsman

O sportovci (Orig.) / 1994 / Czech Republic / 11 min

Approximately 250 photographs by Roman Sejkot of a mentally handicapped swimmer which are wonderfully animated by the film's director...

Detail…

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Four Velvet Men Then and Now (1/4) - Michael Kocab

Evoluce 4 z revoluce (1/4) - Michael Kocáb (Orig.) / 2010 / Czech Republic / 57 min

Portraits of 4 personalities of the Velvet Revolution captured within the span of twenty years...

Detail…

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Four Velvet Men Then and Now (2/4) - Martin Mejstrik

Evoluce 4 z revoluce (2/4) - Martin Mejstřík (Orig.) / 2010 / Czech Republic / 57 min

Portraits of 4 personalities of the Velvet Revolution captured within the span of twenty years...

Detail…

Evoluce_Ruml_1

Four Velvet Men Then and Now (3/4) - Jan Ruml

Evoluce 4 z revoluce (3/4) - Jan Ruml (Orig.) / 2010 / Czech Republic / 57 min

Portraits of 4 personalities of the Velvet Revolution captured within the span of twenty years...

Detail…

Evoluce_Rymsky_1

Four Velvet Men Then and Now (4/4) - Krystof Rimsky

Evoluce 4 z revoluce (4/4) - Kryštof Rímský (Orig.) / 2010 / Czech Republic / 57 min

Portraits of 4 personalities of the Velvet Revolution captured within the span of twenty years...

Detail…

Zeme_snu_2

Country of Dreams

Země snů (Orig.) / 2009 / Czech Republic / 57 min

The Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic is now in a very difficult situation.The majority of economic immigrants come to the Czech Republic already with huge debts.

Detail…

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A Low-level Flight

Nízký let (Orig.) / Czech Republic / 52 min

A low-level flight is a story from 1960's and 70's of relationship of Káťa and Franta who was an ace fighter pilot in the Czechoslovak army.

Detail…

The Tadpole, the Rabbit and the Holy Ghost_1

The Tadpole, the Rabbit and the Holy Ghost

Pulec, králík a duch svatý (Orig.) / 2007 / Czech Republic / 26 min

For four years, the orthodox priest Libor Halík has been singing psalms aloud outside the maternity hospital in Brno. This is his everyday protest against abortions. Watch for free!

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The Unwelcome

Nevítaní (Orig.) / 2009 / Czech Republic / 94 min

A documentary myth. Five stories about a journey from the Underworld...

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Earthlings, Who Are You Voting for?

Pozemšťané, koho budete volit? (Orig.) / 2010 / Czech Republic / 40 min

The film shows that even mentally handicapped people can get their bearings in public spaces and have a political opinion. The crew followed a phenomenon which affects all of us; elections to the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic.

Detail…



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