The latest film by director and MIDI LIDI band frontman Petr Marek has ranked among the most significant events on the Czech film scene in 2011. Though it may not be as formally refined as Alois Nebel nor does it feature famous Czech actor Bolek Polívka, Nothing Against Nothing disposes of a whole arsenal of cinematographic originality. Do not wait for Christmas Eve and be one of the first 49 DAFilms visitors to watch the film in the week before Christmas FOR FREE. (We are sorry but this event is only for Czech and Slovak audience)
A disparate group of people meet in the Jordan camp out of season. Although they do not know each other, they have a similar fate. As children, they were raised in adoptive families and now they want to start a civic association. However, it soon turns out that not everybody has really been adopted and not everybody came to the camp because of the announced programme. The situation as well as mutual communication get complicated from the very beginning; not only for the fact that a presumed paedophile appears among them…
In the fall of 2011, Nothing Against Nothing has been like an apparition from another world in the Czech theatrical distribution. The collective work by director and musician Petr Marek and the LÁHOR/soundsystem improvisation theatre group has introduced a radical cinematographic form combining the aesthetic of amateur cinema with the subtle knowledge of a cinefile to Czech cinema screens. To the disillusionment of film reviewers who have mostly ignored the previous works by Petr Marek, the film was premiered at the Karlovy Vary IFF in the prestigeous “East of the West” competition section; together with Martin Mareček’s Solar Eclipse, Marek’s film was one of two Czech films represented in the festival programme. What was so attractive about the “amateur” film for the programme selectors of the greatest Czech festival? KV IFF art director Karel Och says: “Nothing Against Nothing is a work by a very talented filmmaker who does not mince his words, who is not afraid to take new paths and who is not afraid of offending anybody.” Petr Marek claims allegiance to great film “provocateurs” such as Jean Luc Godard or Alan Resnais. His films are filled with (self)irony and are hard to categorize; which has resulted in a complete rejection on the part of mainstream criticism. However, the fact that he approaches filmmaking with an original and constructive creative style rather than with pretence and pose is proved by his very latest work.
Paradoxically, the strength of Marek’s film consists in the fact that he is not afraid to rely on his weakness. Be it the one of a missing plot narrated in a standard way, the one of stylized acting or the one of a liking for the means of amateur cinematography, Petr Marek is not afraid to show it. After all, he says he doesn’t make “strong” films. “To me, even a bad actor is authentic. I’ve been wondering what the difference between me and those who can’t stand that was. It’s just that they don’t like weakness. That’s why they won’t see how a filmmaker can like mistakes and employ them intentionally. What they need is a demonstration of power.”
However, Petr Marek and his collective won’t give us that. To them, film is more like a game, an improvisation, a carefree party testing the degree of the spectators’ willingness to laugh at themselves together with the filmmakers. Nothing against nothing…
If you belong to that kind of playful spectators, let us remind you that the DAFilms portal also presents Petr Marek’s debut feature Love from Above.
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