I highly suggest you watch this film, even if just for the segment directed by Chytilová.

Hailed as the "Manifesto of the Czech New Wave," the film doesn't really live up to the rest of the films of the movement. Directed by five of the top New Wave directors (minus Forman), and all based off works by Bohumil Hrabal, the Czech writer who would continue to be Menzel's muse throughout his career. Chytilová's piece far surpasses all of Menzel's Hrabal based works (all of which I like), and surpasses all the pieces in this Portmanteau as well.

That's not to say they are all bad. The stories are all alot more noticably surrealist than other Hrabal works (though that might just be the low quality subtitles on the DVD). Hrabal's works all border on surrealism, but fairly early on in his career he went from stories bordering on non-sense to "realistic" stories about fanciful people in fanciful situations. Nemec's piece is a nice still piece with two men lying about their career in order to avoid death. The best piece other then Chytilová's is Schorm's piece about two insurance salesmen who try to sell insurance to a semi-crazy guy who draw's murals all over his house, inspired by his almost crazy mother (they give up in the end).

In Chytilová's piece, prior to the start a man is arrested during his wedding and a woman commits suicide. The woman's lover talks about them making death masks for one another, and the bride comes down, drunk, not willing to go home alone on her wedding night. The man and the bride go home together, and there is a beautiful slow motion scene of her wedding gown in a high wind, and him tearing off pieces of the gown to tie up trees that are falling down.

All the different segments in this film are really about the way we need to interact with each other's imaginary worlds really to survive. Each of the characters live in a world that is closer to fantasy then reality, but each of these fantasy's interact impeccably well to create a moment of human connection. Human connection not just in the sense of knowing each other, but in the sense of each other's worlds interacting. Thus the mismatched characters like the boy and the gypsy girl, or the quiet man and the drunken bride, create beautiful moments together, and lies are much more real than the truth.

And Chytilová's film is beautiful.

Buy Pearls of the Deep

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