The Sun in a Net

Direction
Year 
1962
Country
  • Slovakia 
Duration
93min 
Audio Tracks 
Subtitles 

Lyrical story about the emotions arising among two young people who pretend cynicism and rejection towards society in an attempt to hide their insecurities, lack of experience and fear of adult life. It is the very first Slovak film in the history of Slovak cinema to take on the theme of the natural differences of values and social life in urban and rural settings. The film is considered the beginning of the New Wave in Slovak and Czech cinema of the 1960s.

In 1962, when Štefan Uher made The Sun in a Net, Martin Hollý made Crows Fly Over and Peter Solan The Boxer and Death, little did anyone suspect that it marked the beginning of a new era of thought, expression, and experiment in cinema. The highlights of this era – the films made by Štefan Uher, Peter Solan, Juraj Jakubisko, Elo Havetta, and Dušan Hanák – have had no parallels up to the present day. These three major films distinguished Slovak cinema in both the Czechoslovak and international contexts.
The Sun in a Net, written by Alfonz Bednár, directed by Štefan Uher, and with the excellent cinematography of Stanislav Szomolányi, launched the New Wave of Czechoslovak cinema. Film critics agree that this film represented a break-through achievement, ushering in a new form of film narration (the traditional linear story narration was broken up into smaller episodes and motifs), a new, analytical view of reality focusing on people and their emotions as well as on the historical and social backgrounds. In detail, the photography created a distinctive mood and the solar eclipse became a symbol of concealed and inchoate feelings and relationships. The radio playing at high volume replaced conversation and electronic music replaced symphonic music. The screenplay was based on three short stories written by Alfonz Bednár published in Slovak literary journals in 1961 and subsequently in the volume of Bednár’s collected stories Building 4/B published in 1977. Originally Stanislav Barabáš was invited to shoot the film; however, when he declined the film was offered to director Štefan Uher. In the film, Uher made use of the experience gained with documentary filmmaking, interweaving the realist language of documentary cinema with the stylisation of fiction cinema. He cast non-actors Jana Beláková and Marián Bielik in the lead roles. The film was shot on location in Bratislava and Nitrianska Blatnica from 11 July 1962 to 9 November 1962 on a total budget of 2.3 million Czechoslovak crowns. The release of the film for cinema distribution was not without its problems. Karol Bacílek, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Slovak Communist Party, was said to have identified a political reference implying the Party’s blindness in the blindness of the character of the mother. The film was also said to carry various “coded” messages and opinions, such as the solar eclipse equating with the twilight of the communist era, the boat on the dry bank reflecting the current status quo of socialism. The film was subjected to detailed and repeated approvals. An Award of Czechoslovak Critics in 1963 contributed to its release for distribution in cinemas.

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Details

  • Original title
    Slnko v sieti
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Alfonz Bednár
  • Cast
    Marián Bielik, Jana Beláková, Eliška Nosálová, Oľga Šalagová,Pavol Chrobák, Andrej Vandlík, Ľubo Roman
  • DOP
    Stanislav Szomolányi
  • Editing
    Bedřich Voděrka
  • Music
    Ilja Zeljenka
  • Sound
    Rudolf Pavlíček
  • Duration
    93 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
    1962
  • Country
    • Slovakia
  • Colour
    • Black & White
  • Distribution
      • Slovenský filmový ústav
      • Grösslingová 32
      • 811 09 Bratislava
      • Slovakia
      • web: http://www.sfu.sk
      • tel: +421-2-57 10 15 01
      • e-mail: sfu@sfu.sk

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