Calamity

Direction
Year
1982
Country
  • Czech Republic
Duration
96min
Audio Tracks
Subtitles

As with Chytilová’s other work, the story of a young train driver was the result of compromises the director had won in defiance of Barrandov’s dramaturges. The studio had offered her the project as there was little interest in the material in view of the tough winter exterior shoot. The director rewrote Josef Šilhavý’s screenplay, turning a “consolidation” story of university students finding a new meaning of life among railway workers into a bitterly amusing parable about contemporary Czechoslovakia. This meant the film’s genesis faced dangers not only from the unpredictable elements but also censorship and pressure. It was released without an advertising campaign and was eventually banned in Prague after drawing large audiences. Instead of a snowy idyll Chytilová, whose father owned a train station pub, produced an authentic work filled with ambiguous anti-regime “catchphrases”. Not only the hero Honza Dostál but several other characters found themselves in “calamitous” life situations that are revealed as a common – societal – problem in the final scene in a snow-covered train. Cinematographer Ivan Šlapeta and editor Jiří Brožek made a huge contribution to the film’s edgy, provocatively unpolished form.

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Details

  • Original title
    Kalamita
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Josef Šilhavý, Věra Chytilová
  • Dir. of Photo.
    Ivan Šlapeta
  • Editing
    Jiří Brožek
  • Music
    Laco Déczi
  • Sound
    Jiří Kříž
  • Duration
    96 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
    1982
  • Country
    • Czech Republic
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Distribution
      • Národní filmový archiv
      • Malešická 12
      • 130 00 Praha 3
      • Czech Republic
      • web: http://www.nfa.cz/
      • tel: +420 271 770 500
      • fax: +420 271 770 501
      • e-mail: nfa@nfa.cz

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